le ret
LE RETOUR DU HEROS. Is a funny, fresh and entertaining movie, which I caught late after its initial release in December of 2018. I was surprised I had not heard more about it because It certainly has an original plot that is at times comic, tragic and contains a few unexpected twists and turns within the storyline along the way. The acting is from all the cast members is inspired and superb with the direction by Laurent Tirad containing moments of brilliance. The film, which is set in 1809, tells the story of a French Captain Neuville, who is due to be married to his beautiful fiancée but is called away to war. His future wife is heartbroken and inconsolable, so her sister decides that she will write letters to her sibling which are supposedly from the Captain, she does this in the hope they will make her happy. At the time the ploy works, and her sister becomes less upset by the absence of her love. But, when the Captain returns from the war, things begin to go wrong and the deceit of the letters starts to unravel. The musical score is just as entertaining as the storyline that is unfolding on screen, composer Mathieu Lamboley fashioned a dramatic yet melodic sounding score for the movie, which at times evokes the style of Morricone and Delerue, it has to it a classical sound but this is at times enhanced and given support by striking and lush sounding thematic material that lingers in ones mind long after it has ceased to play. The orchestration I thought was interesting, at times the composer utilising solo trumpet, female voice, choir and an assortment of percussion and strings. One of the cues, EPOPEE (track 2) is wonderfully thematic and almost anthem like in its make up and also its performance, with driving strings that are combined with martial sounding percussion and Morricone-esque sounding male choir punctuating and also pushes the composition forward, the use of solo trumpet and what I think could be harpsichord within the cue is breath-taking and is further embellished by the flawless soprano which becomes more developed and strong as the track progresses. But the entertainment value is not restricted to just this one track, the entire score is a rollercoaster of musical textures, colours and styles, all of which combine to compliment and give one another support.

The composer also employs a whistler on the lovely light and jaunty track, LA CHANSON DE BADAUD, which is a bristling and fresh piece that lifts the listeners spirits and oozes comedic brilliance. The work also contains some truly mesmerising and beautiful melodies that are performed on piano which are affecting as well as effective within the movie. But, for me it is the use of soaring soprano combined with choir, up-tempo strings and percussion that send the chills down my spine, it is as if the composer has penned a score that is a salute or homage to the epic film score, the romantic soundtrack and the works of the great composers such as the aforementioned, Morricone, Delerue with nods of acknowledgement to the likes of Francois De Roubauix,  Jerry Goldsmith, Francis Lai and at times, Michel Polanareef and Michel Magne. It is a vibrant and inventive work and one that entertains and transfixes the listener throughout. LE DUEL track number eighteen is a personal favourite, if only for its brief homage to the gunfight music of Morricone in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.



But having said that there is also an original and alluring sound and style present which can only be that of Mathiue Lamboley, the composer has written a number of film scores, but I truly believe that we will be hearing a lot more of this gifted and innovative Maestro in the not too distant future, at least I hope we will.