This year has shall we say not been the best has it, although saying that there have been a number of great soundtracks released, and composers who I had not heard of before the Covid 19 pandemic have certainly come into their own and produced some wonderful scores for both film and TV. Sadly some of the films that have been scored are still to be released because of the current restrictions, but luckily a number of the scores have made it to either CD, LP or digital sites. A movie that premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and was released later in February is WENDY, it is as you might have guessed a unique and quite dark take on the story of Peter Pan, but I wont spoil it because hopefully you will want to check it out on the big screen when we can again, which I hope wont be that long. The inventive and alluring score is the work of composers Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, (Zeitlin is the director of the movie) yes you have heard the name Dan Romer before, he was supposed to score the new James Bond movie but was replaced by Hans Zimmer, in my opinion a mistake, but what do I know, I think Romer would have brought something new, vibrant and fresh to the franchise, but like I say what do I know and who am I ?
The score for WENDY contains all the freshness and vibrancy that I thought the composer would add to 007, there is an originality and also an inventive and mesmerising vibe to this work, at times the music is simple and just washes over the listener but on other occasions it becomes quite complex and involved, but it still works and still remains interesting and leaving the listener craving more. The story of WENDY is as I say a take on Peter Pan but not like we know the character, there are a number of dark and unsettling moments, but the movie will I hope be well received if it is released in theatres, if not then we must look out for the blu-ray or DVD in stores.
I listened to the score on Spotify, it is licenced by Sony so I would think there could be a physical CD release, but t the moment it looks like this will not be happening. This is a wonderfully varied score, the composer utilising an array of percussion to create up-beat and rhythmic passages, there are interludes within the score that are melodic and filled with melancholy, but for the majority of its running time I found the music to be more active and action led if that is the correct way to describe it, the composer utilises conventional symphonic instrumentation and fuses this with electronic and synthetic textures to create some beguiling and haunting moments within the score. I found myself returning to the score a few times to fully take in and appreciate this work. The cue NEVER GROW UP I think is again simple but so effective and affecting as it builds and gathers momentum and pace, it has to it a determination and a positivity that just attracts and impresses. This style and atmosphere also manifests itself in WHERE LOST BOYS GO and WANT TO FLY, the latter being a favourite of mine underlined with dramatic and fast paced percussion, brass flourishes and driving edgy strings that maintain a tense and robust mood throughout. The remainder of the score too is impressive and it is a triumph of a soundtrack that I recommend you check out a.s.a.p. Its one of the surprises of 2020 and a pleasant one for a change. Go listen.