OST: Lust, Caution

OST: Lust, Caution / 2007 Decca / 24 Tracks / http://www.decca.com /

Lust, Caution is not a movie that has gotten as wide of a publicity campaign as director Ang Lee’s previous movies (specifically, The Hulk). The movie itself deals with the exploits of Wang Jiazhi, and especially how Wang interacts with Mr. Yee. While the action takes place during World War II, there is a quite current sound to the compositions that seem a little out of place at times.

Alexandre Desplat’s work is amazing throughout all twenty four tracks of the score, but it is only when Desplat moves backwards in time, such as including Braham’s Intermezzo in a Majo Op 118 No 2, that the tracks seem to match up with the context in which the movie takes place. “Playacting” is the first Desplat track that seems to take into consideration the time frame and the locale in which the movie’s action takes place. There is still a decidedly current sound to “Playacting”, but there are hints of classical music and a more Asiatic sound to the compositions here. This is the direct that Desplat needs to go for subsequent tracks on this score, and “Tsim Sha Tsui Stroll” does just that. As the score slides along, Desplat’s plan comes more and more into view. It is not that Desplat completely abandons the contextual clues of Ang’s movie, but wants to do the score of “Lust, Caution” in a way that does not sound dated while calling forth the spirit and sound of an earlier period. The first few tracks seem uneven, but this befuddlement with these compositions disappears after the first few listens to the CD.

There are tracks, such as “Moonlight Drive”, that are relatively light on these contextual clues and approaches, but Desplat succeeds in the inclusion of these tracks when one hears the beauty and intricacy present in the arrangements of these tracks. Taken as a whole, the mystious nature of “Lust, Caution” is transferred well to the movie’s score. Desplat’s score may be unconventional, but so is Lee’s movie; take Desplat’s score as one in which a current composer envisions the past, and listeners will be able to see more of the reasons why Desplat took this tack. Desplat has been attached to movies such as Syriana, Casanova, and Girl With A Pearl Earring, but it may be eir work with “Lust, Caution” that sets eir on the next plateau. Take a gander if compelling instrumental, classically-based music is your forte.

Top Tracks: Check Point, Shanghai 1942

Rating: 6.5/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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