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Soundtrack Review

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Operation Finale
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Alexandre Desplat
Performed by: The London Symphony Orchestra
Label: Sony Masterworks
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 August 2018

Sony Classical releases the soundtrack to Operation Finale, with original music by Academy Award winner Alexandre Desplat. The film captures the mission to capture Adolf Eichmann, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust. Fifteen years after the end of World War II, acting on irrefutable evidence, a top-secret team of Israeli agents travel to Argentina where Eichmann has been in hiding and execute an extremely dangerous abduction. In attempting to sneak him out of Argentina to stand trial in Israel while being pursued by the country’s right-wing forces, agent Peter Malkin is forced to engage Eichmann in an intense and gripping game of cat-and-mouse with life-and-death stakes...

Alexandre Desplat is a bit of a strange composer. I've always found his music to be very hit and miss. While his scores are always perfect for the projects they're composed for, they are not always enjoyable as standalone albums. More often than not they are functional and nothing more.

I've reviewed quite a few of his more recent releases (American Pastoral; Argo; The Imitation Game; Isle of Dogs; The Light Between Oceans; The Monuments Men; The Twilight franchise; Suffragette; The Tree of Life) and I was surprised to discover that I had actually forgotten that he'd composed the music for some of the scores that I really enjoyed (American Pastoral; Argo; The Monuments Men).

Operation Finale consists of 17 tracks (58 min, 06 sec). It's another one of his scores that sits quietly in the background. The main theme is easily the highlight. It's quirky and upbeat, and will certainly catch your attention - it may even bring a smile to your face. It almost feels out of place, given the subject matter of the movie as well as the rest of the music on the album.

The interesting thing about Desplat is that from project to project he does reinvent himself. You're very unlikely to listen to his work for the first time and think: "Oh, that's a Desplat score", he's different every time. This in itself makes him one of the most talented composers working in the industry. But his music, on the whole I've never found that enjoyable outside of the movie theatre.

Operation Finale is another fine, if somewhat uninspiring, offering from Desplat.


Darren Rea

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