" Delightful and relaxing journey towards recovery "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the regular release
The Horse Whisperer, directed and starring Robert Redford was a box office success around the world, offering the world a look inside today's known training methods of a horse whisperer (although the portrayal in the film does not follow the specific methodology of any one practitioner). Co starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sam Neill, Dianne Wiest and a young Scarlett Johansson, it was a lovely take on the concept Horse Whisperer. John Barry was hired first to compose the music. After all it was John Barry's music that sky rocketed Robert Redford's movie Out of Africa many years before that. But somehow the lush and slow moving romantic music didn't seem to work with the picture's demands. And considering Thomas Newman's own music of The Shawshank Redemption was temp tracked with the first cut in the first place, Redford hired Thomas Newman instead.
And knowing what a melodic mastermind Thomas Newman is, that wasn't such a bad idea at all. On the contrary, The Horse Whisperer delivered another winning formula of wonderful thematic themes with soft flowing underscore. However somehow the one wasn't featured as much as one would have hoped, and the other turned out to deliver a lot more in the end. The Horse Whisperer is a fantastic score in parts, and a soft journey for the remaining time.
Because you ought to consider that The Horse Whisperer is a personal score, a personal voyage towards recovery and trust. And considering it is both the horse and the girl that have to be helped, it's a lot more delicate and quieter than one might want. Especially if you have tasted that extraordinary talent of Thomas Newman in various pieces. For instance, one can not imagine anything more beautiful than a fantastic richness of nature in the brilliant "Montana" (used in the trailer of The Green Mile), one can not imagine anything else than a horse trying to walk and run again in the mesmerizing "The Rhythm of the Horse" and "End Titles" (also briefly used in the trailer of The Green Mile), and one ought to feel the recovery and the freedom again in the beautiful and delightful "Grace".
Newman has a lovely secondary theme standing by as well, but this one is a lot gentler. It's heard on guitar and solo violin in various tracks ("Rancher's Wife", "Your Misfortune (None of my Own)" and "Creek House") before delivering a wonderful dramatic impact in the beautiful "The Vast Continent", a track like Thomas Newman does often. The piano / violin duo in "Percheron Stallion" is catchy and the beautiful return of the rhythm melody in "End Titles" closes this score so wonderfully.
Yet for the rest, Thomas Newman is more than content to deliver soft meandering pieces, brief Texan jigs for violin and guitar and an occasional darker unnerving piece for the trauma and drama that has occurred. Meaning more often than not, you're flowing gently forward, accompanying the horse and a girl towards recovery, knowing that each step has to be taken gently. This you can feel when listening to Thomas Newman's soft music. And it is only in the moments that we get more of that Meet Joe Black orchestral momentum. Perhaps it was not fair to ask that considering the motion picture, but if one heard that mesmerizing usage of the best parts of the Horse Whisperer in that trailer of The Green Mile, then one will be a bit disappointed that's it's used so infrequently. Not fair I know, but human nonetheless. But don't let that stop you by trying out a beautiful relaxing journey through Montana, brought forward on a rhythm of a horse.
1. Angus (0.55)
2. Double Divide (1.36)
3. The Whisperers (2.21)
4. Accident (1.45)
5. There Was Snow (Opening) (3.17)
6. Hooking On (1.23)
7. Montana (1.23) Excellent track
8. Pilgrim's Progress (1.58)
9. Runaway Meadow (3.00)
10. Badlands (0.46)
11. Voice of God (1.00)
12. The Rhythm of the Horse (3.13) Excellent track
13. Rancher's Wife (1.30)
14. Iron (1.33)
15. Simple Truths (3.21)
16. Hereford Cross (1.15)
17. Tunnel (1.26)
18. Awkward Talk (1.58)
19. Your Misfortune (None of my Own) (2.52)
20. Hooves (1.14)
21. Hobble (2.52)
22. The Very Act of Being (2.24)
23. Grace (3.06) Excellent track
24. Lazy J (0.58)
25. Creek House (1.14)
26. The Vast Continent (3.38) Excellent track
27. Percheron Stallion (1.49)
28. End Title (3.44) Excellent track
Total Length: 57.56