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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Neil Athale
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 April 2021

MovieScore Media revisit a literary classic with Neil Athale’s score for Twist, a modern retelling of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Martin Owen’s movie reimagines the film in modern-day London where Twist is a parkour enthusiast tagger, Fagin is a criminal mastermind organizing a heist against one of his wrongdoers and Sikes is an enforcer who is willing to sacrifice the crew in order to get things her way. Their adventures span a fun, high-octane action heist score featuring lots of percussion and a handful of emotional cues to lend some heart to the street kids with the wrong goals, but the right idea...

Twist is a surprisingly subtle and rich thematic score from Neil Athale. My only slight quibble is that it rests heavily on a few stereotypical cliches. This manifests itself as your standard heist-style music as well as themes and instrumentation that instantly bring to mind traditional Jewish wedding dance music. While this is no doubt used in order to easily set the scene, I can't help thinking that it also feels a little lazy.

Talking about the project, Athale says: "Director Martin Owen wanted the music to make people feel a connection to the characters, and we achieved that by giving certain characters and key story line threads their own melodic themes. My first task was to create a theme for Oliver and his mother ('What Does Oliver See?'). The woodwind & string based cue set the tone melodically and stylistically for much of the score. In order to incorporate the more melodic storytelling score with the upbeat action score for the heist storyline, I incorporated ‘rock’ drum, bass and guitar elements with the more traditional woodwind and strings approach that I’d already established earlier in the film. This enabled me to be able to create a single pallet of instruments that I could push when I needed to score a daring rooftop chase, but also allowed me to pare back when I needed to score an emotional moment."

There are some really impressive themes woven throughout these 17 tracks (41 min, 22 sec) and it's certainly a score that will appeal to lovers of soundtracks for heist movies.


Darren Rea

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