Saturday, October 30, 2010

Soundtrack Review: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" By Alexandre Desplat

Only a few days past that soundtrack preview, we have the entire soundtrack for your viewing pleasure and mine. So how great is the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, now that we have a complete look at it? It's pretty damn spectacular, and bests a great deal of Desplat's work in the past. If he doesn't get nominated for an Academy Award for this score, it will be a great disservice. Even if he gets nominated for something like The King's Speech, it will still feel disappointing. He really goes above and beyond with what he does here. Packed full of complex emotions, whimsy, action, and most of all, atmospheric darkness, if you don't see this before seeing the film, it will be that much more meaningful for you.

The score starts out strong with the emotional piece Obliviate, which manages to serve as a proper introduction without once bringing up Hedwig's Theme. It makes the point very clear that we're not in Hogwarts anymore. It's a strange new world, and Desplat does a good job embellishing that. There are merely three tracks that contains only small flourishes of the main theme we've all become familiar with, the most effective being The Will. Rest assured that several tracks evoke an epic feeling satisfactory to hardcore fans, including Ministry of Magic and Sky Battle.

Though I'm a strong opponent against whimsy, where would these films be without it? That Williams style whimsy has a short and proper presence in Dobby, Lovegood, and Detonators. It's not all fun and games though, as things get especially dark very quickly in some takes. Bathilda Bagshot and The Locket do a good job of bottling up the tension before finally and chaotically releasing it. The most intense track in that respect is Destroying the Locket, which doesn't at all overstay its welcome. This soundtrack has plenty of emotional beats which are occasionally heartbreaking as it is in Ron Leaves and Track 25, whose name I'm still not ready to say. The wound is still fresh, and it's a crucial plot detail as well an emotional one. The soundtrack ends on an epic pit-in-your-gut note with The Elder Wand. I look forward to seeing this soundtrack in the context of the film it was made for. Call me crazy, but I think that Alexandre Desplat may be this year's Michael Giacchino, and I mean that.



  1. I'm with you. I hope he gets a nomination. Or specialy an award. Track 25 made me cry a lot.

  2. Love the Giacchino mention. Along with Desplat he's one of the best and a personal favourite. Looking forward to the longer version of this soundtrack coming out next month.