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Music that deeply touched me: The Batman Soundtrack!

Radu-Cristian Perde

Sold-out Crowd Surfer
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Hey everyone!

    So I wanted to talk about the recently released ''The Batman'' Soundtrack. First of all, I LOVED the movie! I thoroughly enjoyed it but we can discuss that in a much deeper way later. In the meantime, I wanted to talk about the music which just really hit me and I've been listening to it quite often.

    There are 3 tracks in particular that I wanted to talk about and how they connect to the movie/character.
    Very specifically, those tracks are the theme for 3 of the main characters, namely: Batman, Catwoman and The Riddle.

    I would advise to listen to the music before reading my extended thoughts down below!

    Let's start with ''The Batman''

    First thing I noticed is of course the main dark piano line which is very reminiscent of the ''imperial march'' from Star Wars. But then it lights up into an orchestral piece that is very beautiful and epic that has a strange sense of hope within it while still keeping the darkness that remains at the heart of the character.


    Second is ''Catwoman''

    With this one I loved how it starts with a gentle Fancy Piano line that then transforms into a very ''Grand'' there I say orchestral line that reminds me a lot of ''The Godfather'' Theme. The piano line feels like something you would hear in a fancy club while the orchestral piece has a side of tragedy attached to it to my sense.


    Lastly is ''The Riddler''

    Riddler is the bad guy of the movie of course and the way his character is portrayed is as a creepy serial killer that is very much unhinged. And so it appropriates for this track to start with a very creepy choir before suddenly jumping at you with it's much more epic orchestral piece which just has a sense of horror brought in particularly with the thrills produced by the string section.


    Extended Thoughts:

    So with all said and done, the real thing that I wanted to talk about is how the each of those musical theme capture the spirit of the character they represent, which is of course a sign that music fulfills it's purpose in this context. Music is a form of storytelling of it's own. Yes it is facilitated by lyrics which then explicitly tell the story in a popular context but when going deeper with instrumentals, the choice of notes, the performances, the orchestration, the images attached to it all come together to tell a story of it's own.

    The character of Batman/Bruce Wayne is consumed by anger and sadness due to the trauma of his parents death. Now the way he deals with his trauma, which is dressing like a bat and beating up criminals, isn't what your average therapist would probably advise, it does come from a place of trying to make things better and to make sure no other kid goes through what he went through. And while at the beginning of the movie he might have been still conflicted about the way he should do things, by the end of it he does find the light within to become the symbol he needs to be: the hope Gotham need. And I do feel this in the theme which is why I think it's a really beautiful one that dwells in both the Darkness that is at the heart of the Dark Knight but also at the Light that comes out his intentions.

    Now the movie has been out for a while but just in case I will issue a SPOILERS warning. Selina Kyle/Catwoman in this movie is a waitress in the icberg lounge which serves as a club in the upper floor but then becomes a fancy lounge swarmed with the wealthiest and most corrupt of Gotham, one of which is the boss of the Gotham Mob. It is later revealed in the movie that said mob boss is the father of Catwoman who abandoned her and killed her mom when she was a child. I feel like her theme really captures this very well with the ''lounge'' feel to the piano while the orchestration, which as I said reminded me of ''The Godfather'', makes the connection to the mob. Of course, the note and instrument choices is really what brings it home because her theme has a real sense of tragedy to it and a sort of ugly anger which is very much so appropritate for her character.

    Lastly, there is The Riddle/Ed Nygma. In the movie, he is a serial killer who operates in the shadows. He stalks his victims and he is very calculated in the way he prepares for the kill. But once he's ready to step out of the shadow to commit the act, he does so in such a brutal and horrific way. I think i've said enough about him. But this is quite literally what happens in the track itself. It all starts very gently yet still creepy but then you get a literal jump scare within the track and once the music goes into full motion, it goes strong and just brings the intensity of the horror to a whole new level which is again, a perfect parallel with his depiction on screen.

    All and all, I do believe that Michael Giacchino nailed it through this score and really captured the essence of those characters so of course, I am very hopeful that he will return for the next adventures of The Dark Knight as a composer.

    Of course, I loved the movie. And I am a big fan of Batman as a character. Music is always essential in order to bring these stories to life in this way and this one certainly didn't miss the mark which is why it became music that deeply touched me.

    Let me know what you all think!

    - Rad Synner
     

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Great write up, Rad man! I felt a really strong tie from the opening piano chords of the Batman's theme to the Nirvana song used in the beginning, almost like he was building off of that and taking it in his own way. I hear hints of some of the great modern soundtrack masters, Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore, but also some more modern touches, noises and "glitches" that give them their own flavor.

    While I loved the movie, and even, surprisingly, Pattinson in the role, I do think the runtime was a bit indulgent and the film suffered some pacing issues as a result. I felt like 15-20 minutes could be trimmed out without hurting the feel or narrative. Also, while I do think he is trying to do some good, he reiterates several times that his primary motivator is VENGEANCE, to the point where he no longer cares about anything else as the family legacy and doesn't care about Wayne, the company at all.

    A very different take from Nolan's and Burton's, which was needed. The World's Greatest Detective was missing from both of them, and it's cool to see THAT Batman return here.

    You totally nailed Catwoman's theme.
     
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    DjangoX

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    Mar 30, 2020
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    I enjoyed this! Such a good little read!

    I saw parts of this movie being filmed in my home town of Liverpool. Loooooots of people called the police seeing batman on top of the Liver building 🤦. Agree that the music is key to what makes it so dark and so different. I think the one thing that sticks out about the soundtrack is it isn't a typical "blockbuster" score, filled with giant swells in horns and a slow gallop towards the good guys entrance theme. I like anything different. Music shouldn't suggest how you should feel like most Hollywood movies do, it should make you question what you feel. Especially in terms of characters.
     
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    Radu-Cristian Perde

    Sold-out Crowd Surfer
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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Great write up, Rad man! I felt a really strong tie from the opening piano chords of the Batman's theme to the Nirvana song used in the beginning, almost like he was building off of that and taking it in his own way. I hear hints of some of the great modern soundtrack masters, Hans Zimmer and Howard Shore, but also some more modern touches, noises and "glitches" that give them their own flavor.

    While I loved the movie, and even, surprisingly, Pattinson in the role, I do think the runtime was a bit indulgent and the film suffered some pacing issues as a result. I felt like 15-20 minutes could be trimmed out without hurting the feel or narrative. Also, while I do think he is trying to do some good, he reiterates several times that his primary motivator is VENGEANCE, to the point where he no longer cares about anything else as the family legacy and doesn't care about Wayne, the company at all.

    A very different take from Nolan's and Burton's, which was needed. The World's Greatest Detective was missing from both of them, and it's cool to see THAT Batman return here.

    You totally nailed Catwoman's theme.
    Definitely agree that the Nirvana song played a role in influencing the soundtrack as a whole. The song really fitted seamlessly into it and didn't feel like it was too much of a stretch in my opinion!

    I'm definitely with you with the length! I feel like some stuff could have been cut and at worst, make an extended cut for the bluray/streaming release. It would have been a win/win. But passing past that, I actually loved that he was still just an angry kid who is only motivated by vengeance at the beginning. And I know that one of the biggest criticism people had with this movie was that Bruce Wayne is barely there and when he is, he doesn't care about wayne industries, etc... but i'd actually argue that not only is it on purpose but I feel like it serves to overall arch very well. I feel like it gave an arc to Batman because the Batman at the beginning is motivated by vengeance as you said and doesn't care about anything but the mission while at the end, he realized that by letting vengeance get to him, he let vengeance get to everyone and he saw the chaos that came from it. He saw how some people got twisted with vengeance and the terrible action they did out of it!

    And so then he decided to become something else. To hold the torch to make the darkest nights a little brighter for the people of Gotham. I feel they showed it pretty well with the cinematography as well with the shots of Batman helping out people in daylight by the end of the movie. I feel like they deliberately left out the ''Wayne'' aspect because at the end of the day, Batman is real while Wayne is the mask. But it's a mask he uses to continue the mission when sun rises. I feel like they put themselves in the perfect spot to keep building upon that and I think that in an overall arch, it gives a VERY compelling character development that I've never seen Batman go through really.

    But yeah, I did love this take on Batman! Even though we had plenty of him over the years, Matt Reeves, Pattinson and all people involved really found a way to make it fresh! Really appreciate your thoughts Captain!
    I enjoyed this! Such a good little read!

    I saw parts of this movie being filmed in my home town of Liverpool. Loooooots of people called the police seeing batman on top of the Liver building 🤦. Agree that the music is key to what makes it so dark and so different. I think the one thing that sticks out about the soundtrack is it isn't a typical "blockbuster" score, filled with giant swells in horns and a slow gallop towards the good guys entrance theme. I like anything different. Music shouldn't suggest how you should feel like most Hollywood movies do, it should make you question what you feel. Especially in terms of characters.
    Oh man!!! That's such a cool anecdote though!! To be fair, I do feel like the right move after seeing a man dressed as a Bat on top of a building IS to call the police :ROFLMAO: Guess they didn't get the memo...

    And yeah! Your take on music scores sums it up very well! I do feel like a lot of modern scores over uses the same tropes which is why a lot of them just go right over my head. They serve their purpose for the movie but aren't any memorable. Though when there's one that does it right like this one.... ouf, it hits!
     
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