For every person that goes missing, there has to be a story, there has to be a reason why they disappear, are they taken away by someone or something or do they themselves decide to just disappear? Each person has their own story and there must be a reason for every disappearance, I suppose its just getting to the facts and discovering the whys and the where for’s that are specific to each individual.
In 1974 a beautiful young bank teller went missing after a bank robbery which took place in Smithsville, Texas. Francis Wetherbee is the subject of the movie THE TELLER AND THE TRUTH which was directed by film maker Andrew Shapter. Wetherbee’s car was found submerged in the river, did she drown, did she commit suicide, or could she have been kidnapped? Or maybe she is alive and well somewhere, but where? And why did she disappear? The film explores every possible event and converts the disappearance of a young girl in a small town into a worldwide search to see if she could still be alive. The subject matter is certainly tense and harrowing enough, but add to this fascinating and thorough search on film a low key but at the same time melodic and affecting score that is provided by composer Carl Thiel, and you have a winning formula, the music takes the events on screen to another level and also the music does have a life of its own away from the movie.
Yes, it is sombre, yes, it is tense, and at times can be a little jumpy and surprising. But, it is effective and entertaining, this is a brooding and well written score, the composer utilising to great effect, percussive elements, strings and piano in the main, which are punctuated and underlined by the use of brass albeit subtle in most places, the combination of this instrumentation is a seductive and smouldering fusion that the composer has fashioned, which occasionally does build into a more developed and driving sound, but for the most part it is the dark and shadowy persona which seems to lurk in the background that is the simple but also alluring element here. There is also a sentimental or sense of melancholy purveyed in certain tracks, and the composer introduces a lilting violin solo on occasion which is heart rending and in tracks such as DAD LEAVES HOME and FRANCIS’S JOURNEY one can hear the emotion and the poignancy, there is a sound and a style that I think can be compared to that of composer Bill Conti, here and also there are maybe a few gentle nods to the artistry and thematic writing of John Barry and the minimal musical approach of Thomas Newman but that is just a personal observation. This is I think a score that will be enjoyed by anyone who encounters it, and after the initial listen they will return to it to savour and listen again and again and realise that it is an example of brilliant writing.