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Soundtrack review: Worth fighting for (Brad Jerkins – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Worth fighting for (Brad Jerkins – 2018)

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“Worth fighting for” is a 2017 drama movie. Alex is struggling to find his place in the world, ending up as a bareknuckle boxer and bruiser for the mob. However, when he falls in love with Lily, he decides to give up that life, but that life isn’t quite ready to give him up so easily. Brad Jerkins wrote the score.

This movie could qualify as a sports drama and this gives me hope for a very good score. It opens with am ambient piece “The locker room” and I am all for quiet, ambient pieces. It’s a short intro but it puts me in a very good mood. The composer goes on building his texture, his atmosphere, also with the help of sudden sound effects that fragment the music. This construction gives the score a feeling of tension, of suspense. The music is electronic, thriller like and it piles up its weight slowly, brick by brick, stone by stone, without overwhelming me as a listener. I hear this musical story and I want to know where it goes next. There are moments when the sound gets reflective and sparks up nostalgia in me for ambient music. Brad Jerkins went for tension of drama and the more I listen to this score the more it feels like a score for a thriller.

I keep waiting for the score to develop into something more meaningful but there are some cues where it looses its steam. I like a slow burning composition but I need it to actually burn and not for the fire to go out every now and then. The texture is nice to listen to, light and electronic but after a few cues I need more to keep me invested in this as music, outside the context of the film.

There are elements that I like and that work in “Worth fighting for”: the electronic experiments, the reflective mood that often takes over and the sudden bursts of energy. “Alex (main theme)” is something out of the world of this score, a haunting, heartbreaking violin theme that I swear reminds me of the music Ramin Djawadi wrote for the Stark family in “Game of thrones”; it has the same melancholic echo through the mist and it’s a sweeping, dramatic theme that makes me forget all about what I heard so far. it seems this cue marks a change in tone, in genre, as if another composer suddenly stepped in. The next cue “Saying goodnight” is just as beautiful and memorable, still quiet, still reflective, but with a hard emotional impact. The score seems to have magically been transported from some shady corridors and gyms to a fantasy land. Thriller turns to drama and I am a happy fan.

After introducing us to these very different flavours the composer cleverly mixes them up and the tense music makes much more sense to me once it’s infused with the emotion of the violin. It is very satisfying to hear a score evolve like this from a lacklustre first half into a meaningful, poignant ambient drama score. Brad Jerkins is definitely on my radar after “Worth fighting for”.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 23 / 58

Album excellence: 39%

Highlights:
Alex (Main Theme)
Saying Goodnight
Broken Mirror
You Have a Choice
The Final Fight
This Is My Church

Tags:
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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