Monday, June 27, 2011

Favorite Movie Scores: "Charlie Wilson"

As I've said before, I LOVE movie scores. Currently, my iPod playlist titled Movie Scores has 512 songs, but it is constantly growing.

Music is an integral part of a film. Without music, a film feels incomplete. A piece of music can completely change the way a scene plays. The best movie scores are ones that don't force you to feel emotion. The movie's score should enhance the already existing emotion.

Because I love movie music so much, I've decided to regularly highlight a favorite piece of music. This probably won't be daily thing like my Fun Film Facts, but I'm going to do it as often as possible.

First up, the main theme from Charlie Wilson's War (2007) called "Charlie Wilson." If you haven't seen Charlie Wilson's War, here's a brief description. It's based on the true story of Charlie Wilson, a partying, womanizing, Texas congressman, who was the main driving force behind the covert war that helped the rebels in Afghanistan beat the Soviets in the 80s. The film's tagline reads "When the world wasn't looking, he changed it forever." Tom Hanks plays Wilson and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Julia Roberts costar. It's directed by Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Catch 22) and the script is written by Aaron Sorkin.

I really love this piece of music because it encompasses all the aspects of Charlie Wilson's character. It starts out sounding Middle Eastern and then shifts into that twangy electric guitar riff that sounds very Texan. At 1:15 it moves into a soft melody played by a solo instrument. That melody is then picked up by a number of violins. This change from a solitary instrument to many instruments symbolizes how Charlie's covert war started as just himself and an idea and then grew into this enormous historical moment. I find the violins incredibly beautiful. As this series of posts continues you'll find that I tend to enjoy pieces of score that heavily feature strings as opposed to other instruments.

If you haven't seen Charlie Wilson's War check out the trailer.

The movie is very relevant these days because of the War on Terror. There's a quote from Charlie Wilson in the movie that goes: "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world... and then we fucked up the endgame." It means that we helped Afghanistan drive out the Soviets and then we stopped caring about them and look what happened...

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