Score composed, produced, orchestrated, and conducted by Anne Dudley. Just
look at those credits! It may seem egregious since it is not usually the
case that composers do all the jobs, yet even when they do, many forget or
waive the right to have them acknowledged. What occurred to me is that since
the success of The Full Monty roused a little controversy over whether
it was the songs or the music being congratulated, perhaps here an attempt
has been made to make it abundantly clear. The scores are light years apart
Before ... Monty only The Crying Game could claim enough
international success to have brought Dudley's name to people's attention.
Adding the recently released
Monty album, only a very minor portrait of the composer's range is
given (each disc featuring scarcely minutes worth of score proper). Here
then is the film and score to change that.
Her notes in the booklet state that director Tony Kaye requested a "big and
elegiac" soundtrack. The idea being to lift the contemporary tale of a man
coming to terms with the shape of events contributing to his life. The result
is an enormous sound that often seems to be on a religious epic's scale (cue
titles such as "The Path To Redemption" and "Benedictus" reinforce
the idea). The drama must be huge - or if not, thanks to Dudley it will be
The title cue which assaults the senses immediately is representative of
most of what follows. A mysterious low key build-up adds a choir to echoing
drum rolls. Already there is an undercurrent of menace before any of the
dynamics come to the fore. When they do, the drum rolls peal out a dramatic
tattoo to finish on a huge crescendo. Five minutes into the disc, and the
listener has already been demanded to sit on edge.
Thematic material from the first cue appears again in the second - "The
Assignment", but here the effect is far more melancholy. A lone horn
calls out the long line melody of the theme. Some finale flourishes on drum
separate this from "Venice Beach". With the sort of shuddering strings
associated with creeping about, plus some of the slow pace of the elegy which
closes the CD, this is about as subdued or restrained as the album gets.
To highlight the contrast. "Playing To Win" follows with a massively
dramatic (almost heroic) action fanfare; something that would seem quite
appropriate for a superhero or two.
An uncredited orchestra makes for a mostly symphonic sound. Some rather effective
electronic samples find their way into the mix occasionally though. "People
Look At Me & See My Brother" and "Raiders" both feature an
echoing effect as of struck metal. It can also be heard in the Goldsmith
Senior portions of bad guy Borg cues in Star Trek: First Contact.
Another interesting effect comes in "The Path To Redemption" - a
chattering, scurrying sound. The brooding danger of these when coupled with
some low end brass is most unsettling.
Amongst the aurally accessible material, there is also time for some crashing
atonality. Essentially shock chords one might more regularly associate with
the horror genre's need to over emphasise a 'surprise'. An example is the
cue "If I Had Testified", which still opens and closes by way of theme
and choir. What this all builds towards, is the pay off for the director's
request. Dudley describes the last cue thus: "the choir and orchestra finally
become one as the words of the 'Benedictus' are sung". This final
elegy really is quite marvellous, and rounds off what will be a major discovery
to those only familiar with the earlier scores mentioned above.
If taken by it, this reviewer recommends her 1994 score the German animated