It took a few minutes to determine what Debney had been asked to emulate on
this one. And then learning that the film is a series of supernatural experiences
within a love story, I suddenly recognised it as Thomas Newman’s The Sixth
Sense. Track 4, "Meeting Sister Madeline" contains the
most directly obvious reference to the earlier score.
Debney often seems stuck with following in others footsteps. Or when he’s
not, it seems Danny Elfman is providing a theme so as to elevate his score into
something noticeable (or more honestly – marketable). This is such a shame,
because the composer who emulated the Golden Era of swashbuckling for Cutthroat
Island was someone to prick up your ears and take notice of.
The remainder of Dragonfly is regrettably forgettable stuff, in large part
because of its consistently subdued tone. There’s a sizeable enough orchestra
credited in the booklet (a welcome new practice by Varese), but you’d be hard
pressed to single out and section that gets special use or treatment.
Debney deserves to work with so much better.