April 1940. The eyes of the world are on Narvik, a small town in northern Norway, a source of the iron ore needed for Hitler’s war machinery. Through two months of fierce winter warfare, Hitler is dealt his first defeat. This is the synopsis for the movie Kampen om Narvik which was released in Norway on December 25th 2022 and will be released in the United States on January 23rd 2023. The film which is a Norwegian production directed by Eric Skjoldbjaerg has a dramatic and compelling storyline and contains a brooding but action filled score by composer Christine Hals.
The music sounds as if it is realised via a scattering of conventional instrumentation which are underlined and bolstered by electronic elements that combine to create a soundtrack that is apprehensive but also thematic and rich in places. At certain points the synthetic elements do become more prevalent, but there are many sides to this score that I know will interest you.
It is a dark and edgy work that from time to time bursts into swaths of action led music that is thundering and driving, the composer fashioning themes that are up there with the likes of composers known for scoring war movies such as Ron Goodwin at times the music evoking his score for Where Eagles Dare, having an equal balance of subtle passages that area foundation for the more robust thematic material.
There is also a more romantic or melancholy side to the score, with strings and faraway sounding horns bringing to fruition an uplifting and luxurious sounding style. The composer also utilises solo violin to great effect, in cues such as Father and Son and the short but beautiful Young Love, creating emotive and haunting passages that are affecting and poignant. Available now on digital platforms, it’s a score that you should check out.