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Reviewing Romeo and Juliet 2013 Movie's Musical Score
Romeo and Juliet (2013) is an unpopular romantic movie that adapted one of Shakespear’s classic stories. The movie included noteworthy casts, amazing costumes, enthralling dialogues, and a masterful musical score. Viewers had mixed feelings about the movie which may have resulted in mediocre reviews. Despite its unpopularity and average reviews, however, the movie’s musical score is one of its highlights. The Polish composer, Abel Korzeniowski, perfectly captured the theme of the tragic love between Romeo and Juliet through emotion-filled music that echoed the expressions that the movie could not put into words or actions.
Brief Review of the Movie
The movie Romeo and Juliet (2013) had many weaknesses which could have led to its unpopularity, however, viewers may overlook this due to the marvelous musical score of the movie. Some of the castings are great, such as Friar Laurence, Capulet, and Juliet’s Nurse. Unfortunately, the actors for Romeo and Juliet did not have a chemistry that makes a romantic movie more impactful. The movie’s dialogues were more poetic than conversational, which others may find off-putting. However, this was one of the aspects that made the movie interesting and bearable to watch. The movie’s plot followed Shakespear’s format which inevitably led to the deaths of the lovers. One of the best scenes in the movie is the image of the dead Romeo lying on the lap of the dead Juliet. It was the captivating imagery, similar to a classical Renaissance painting, that dwarfed the weaknesses of the movie; leaving a great impression on the viewers.
Abel Korzeniowski is the composer of the Romeo and Juliet (2013) musical score. According to Korzeniowski, the musical score focuses on the eternal love between Romeo and Juliet that transcends even death. He composed the different music for the movie to highlight the sweetness and agony that the two characters feel during each scene. This ensured that each piece focuses on a particular emotion and not a collection of expressions that can overwhelm, or even predict, a scene. Korzeniowski is a composer who understood the significance and power of a great musical score to the extent that it uplifts a movie (Broxton). Since Romeo and Juliet (2013) had various weaknesses, one can even argue that without Korzeniowski’s masterful musical score, the movie may have received terrible reviews. The musical score expressed emotions, as much as the actors and actresses, which contributed greatly to the perception of the viewer.
The Musical Score
Korzeniowski’s Romeo and Juliet (2013) tracklist included 16 songs that accompanied various scenes to express more emotions. The songs are “Juliet’s Dream”, “Forbidden Love”, “Queen Mab”, “The Cheek of Night”, “First Kiss”, “Trooping with Crows”, “A Thousand Times Good Night”, “Come, Gentle Night”, “Wedding Vows”, “Fortune’s Fool”, “From Ancient Grudge”, “Death is my Heir”, “Tempt Not a Desperate Man”, “The Crypt, Part 1”, “The Crypt, Part 2”, and “Eternal Love” (Korzeniowski, n.d). Most of these songs play during particular scenes and fit perfectly with what is occurring or what the characters are feeling. In some cases, the characters even speak a song’s title as part of their poetic dialogue. This was an interesting touch and watching the movie while being aware of the musical score can magnify the effects of the subtle references.
Since the musical score included 16 astounding songs, this review will focus on a few that served as the highlights of the tracklist. The first song is “A Thousand Times Good Night” which played when Romeo first climbed outside of Juliet’s chambers. The song is powerful as it expresses the emotion of forbidden love that aims to triumph over the laws that bind it. Broxton stated that Korzeniowski places every emotion in his orchestra, creating the most emotional songs of that year. “A Thousand Times Good Night” utilizes the emotional melody of a piano, the heart-touching symphony of strings, and the strong foundations of percussion. Through the combination of these instruments, Korzeniowski created music that convenes emotions in a listener from the first second that it plays.
The next powerful song is the two-part piece “The Crypt”. This piece played during the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, with each part accompanying the demise of one character. “The Crypt, Part 1” played when Romeo drank the poison from the vial after reaching Juliet’s body. “Part 1” begins with slow percussive sounds that give out the feeling of tragedy and eventually transition to the high-pitch sounds of string instruments. Broxton stated that it exuded religious loss through the cooing chorus. However, the cooing in the song relates more to the tragedy that the viewers realize since they know that Juliet is still alive. “The Crypt, Part 2” had a similar format to Part 1, however, it emphasizes the feeling of tragedy with the mournful sounds of various instruments. This was also the song that accompanied the image of the dead Romeo lying on the lap of the dead Juliet. This connection makes “The Crypt, Part 2’ a very powerful piece that evokes the dark emotions of loss and tragedy while affirming the audience of eternal love.
Korzeniowski’s Romeo and Juliet (2013) musical score is an emotion-provoking tracklist that enhanced the movie-watching experience. Without his masterful musical score, audiences may have perceived Romeo and Juliet (2013) as a bad movie. The personalization of each piece to accompany particular scenes gave them power over the audience’s emotions. The musical score uplifted scenes that would otherwise be dull and intensified the emotions in scenes that are already powerful. Korzeniowski’s musical score showcased the power of music over emotions and how it can affect the outcome of a movie.
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Abelkorzeniowski.com. “Romeo & Juliet OST”, 2013. http://www.abelkorzeniowski.com/romeo-and-juliet-ost.
Broxton, Jonathan. “Romeo & Juliet - Abel Korzeniowski”. Movie Music UK, 2013. https://moviemusicuk.us/2013/10/14/romeo-juliet-abel-korzeniowski/.
Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Carlo Carlei. Echo Lake Entertainment. 2013.
Soundtrack Suites. “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Suite (2013 Version)”. Youtube, uploaded by Soundtrack Suites, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVrTBdrZjcY.