Very few directors actually have the talent or desire to score their own movies. However, Tom Tykwer is one of those directors that does just that, and the soundtrack for “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” seems to have a closer connection to the events in the movie than would a non-director-created score would have. Like many different soundtracks, there are a number of shorter segments designed to be present in the tense parts of the movie, but Tykwer does well in crafting an overall sound that permeates each of the songs on the score. To give a little background, Perfume is a movie about an individual that is obsessed with creating the perfect title object. The movie is an adaptation of a 1985 Patrick Suskind work, and the Berliner Philhamoniker (Berlin Philharmonic) was tapped to create the music for the soundtrack.
The ghostly, choral sound of the “Prologue” sets up the rest of the soundtrack, and provides individuals with a tremendous amount of footing with which they can enjoy the movie. The track is repetitious but not to a fault; what the song does is continually pound this sound into listeners’ ears, to further make the linkage between the music played and the action that will take place. The second track, “Streets of Paris”, is a composition that adds a little bit of outside hope to the dour, brooding introduction to the disc.
The inclusion of this hope is undoubtedly to provide the extremity of the other end; the darkness of the main character of the movie. The use of strings at the highest registers of the track is similar to the vocals present in much lyrical music; it is really how Tykwer is able to create a narrative to the soundtrack that allows it to stand on its own even when individuals do not have a movie to refer to. Tracks go back and forth between dark and light, and this trend jerks listeners around; the use of what sounds like a heartbeat during “Grenouille’s Childhood” further involves individuals into the score. In this track, the music drops away and individuals are faced with just the heart, an impressive use of blank space to further the drama present. Simply put, the compositions on “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” are solid, they fit the film, and they highlight all the right sections of the movie. They stand alone as well, and make for an interesting CD.
Top Tracks: The 13th Essence, Meeting Laura
OST: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer / 2006 EMI Classics / 18 Tracks / http://www.perfumemovie.com / http://www.emiclassics.com / Reviewed 21 April 2007