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Bel Ami (De Saram/Portman) Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, April 3, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Original score to the 2012 motion picture composed by Academy Award winner Rachel Portman. Based on the novel by Guy de Maupassant, Bel Ami is an erotically charged tale of ambition, power, and seduction that chronicles the rise of penniless ex-soldier Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson The Twilight Saga, Remember Me) from poverty up through the echelons of the 1890s Parisian "beau monde" elite. Using his wits and powers of seduction, Duroy moves from a prostitute's embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties who inhabit a world where sex is power and celebrity an obsession, and where politics and media jostle for influence. Also starring Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Christina Ricci and Colm Meaney. Bel Ami is a timeless epic with a modern twist a Dangerous Liaisons for a new generation.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0078463ZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,359 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bel Ami is a historical romantic drama based on the 1885 novel by Guy de Maupassant. Directed by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, the film is set in Paris in the late 1880s and stars Robert Pattinson as the amoral Georges Duroy, a journalist for the newspaper La Vie Française, who rises from being a junior officer in the French Army in Algeria, to being one of the most powerful and influential men in the city, which he achieves by manipulating a series of well-connected, intelligent, and wealthy mistresses. The film also stars Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Christina Ricci as the women Duroy takes advantage of - both morally, socially and sexually - as he makes his ascent through the decadent world of the rich and the privileged. The film's equally rich and decadent score is by Lakshman Joseph de Saram and Rachel Portman, who share composing duties equally between them.

Portman, of course, is the Oscar-winning composer of such similar period romances as Emma and The Duchess. This is familiar territory for her. The name Lakshman Joseph de Saram, however, is likely to be wholly unfamiliar to film music fans. He is a composer from Sri Lanka who attended the Manhattan School of Music, founded the Chamber Music Society of Colombo in his home country, and is now one of the leading musical lights of the Tamil-language film industry, with several high profile scores to his name. He grew up surrounded by western classical music and film scores, professing a personal admiration for everyone from Shostakovich to Ennio Morricone, and became attached to Bel Ami through producer Uberto Pasolini - Rachel Portman's husband - who wrote and directed the Tamil film Machan in 2008, which Lakshman scored.
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Format: Audio CD
A ravishing orchestral score that is both emotional and gritty. Great playing too, the authenticity of the period very much present. Highly recommended for classic film music fans.
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Format: Audio CD
Bel Ami is the story of a penniless soldier who moves his way up in Paris by manipulating wealthy women thus creating lust, heartbreak, anger and greed amongst everyone. Indian composer Lakshman Joseph De Saram teams with veteran composer Rachel Portman for this absolutely great score. The main theme sets the stage for the world of the film. The music has class and a prestigious quality to it, but there is a mischievous undertone to it all.

The score flows extremely well and the blending of the two composers' style works extremely well. The first half of the score has a lighter tone as it slowly spirals into a twisty deceitful tale. The central theme is very grounding if maybe overused a tad, but it sets the score in motion and keeps it motion. The period feel of the music doesn't make it feel gimmicky, which can happen in some period films. They try too hard with the instrumentation and it literally becomes a gimmick. That's not the case here as the instrumentation does give a sense of time but doesn't lose character. It plays the character emotions very well. You can grasp the emotions of the story and the characters very easily, but as a listener you may not feel those emotions. This is isn't a score that transposes itself onto the listener, and in most cases I would consider that a negative. However, I felt very content observing the music and not necessarily participating. It was as if a play was being performed on stage to my ears. The score is tidily wrapped up while returning to that great central theme.

This is a great score that pairs two very strong voices in the film music world. While Laksham is not a household name yet I'm sure you'll be hearing more of him. Rachel Portman is of course one of the greats and it's always a joy to hear her talents behind a score.
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