Decca Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I do not like horror movies, or suspense films which have a horror angle to them. Needless to say, I have made no plans to see Hannibal in the theatres (with apologies to Sir Anthony Hopkins - I understand he's excellent in his reprisal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter). You wouldn't get me into the theatre to see this film even if you waved thousands of dollars under my nose. (Aim for the eyes, stupid... aim for the eyes.)

This all being said, I do find myself liking the soundtrack to Hannibalmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 , another fine effort from Hans Zimmer. While I could have lived without the songs segueing into one another, I admit this technique did build up a sense of anticipation, almost as if the good doctor were lurking behind the corner, waiting to ambush me. (For the record, I know I'd be safe from such an attack; anyone who tried to eat me would succumb to cholestorol poisioning.)

What's interesting to note is that the pieces on Hannibal which prove to be the most powerful are the moments borrowed from the world of classical music. I hear evidence of "Blue Danube Waltz" in "The Capponi Library," while Glenn Gould's take on "Aria de capo" adds the perfect touch to this disc (especially following a piece featuring spoken word by Hopkins). Likewise, the disc's closer "Vide Cor Meum" puts the perfect spin on things - an air of elegance and class amongst the ferociousness and the carnage.

Of course, that might make it sound like I'm putting down some of Zimmer's work on Hannibal, like "Avarice," "Let My Home Be My Gallows" and "To Every Captive Soul". This isn't my intention; Zimmer seems to internalize well the emotions and nerves from the film and transfers them to the score. Even if you've not seen the movie, there will be at least one time throughout the course of this soundtrack that the hair on the back of your neck will stand up.

Despite all the success of Hannibal, I can't help but wish that Zimmer had chosen to throw a few more moments from the world of classical music into the mix. These provide a calming (if deceptively brief) oasis from the tension that this soundtrack intentionally builds, disarming the listener and lulling them back into the musical world patrolled by a serial killer.

I'll admit that some of the music would make perfect sense were I to see Hannibal, but at times the soundtrack seems to convey the feeling of the movie quite well to the uninitiated like myself. And, really, that's the exact job the soundtrack is supposed to execute - if you'll forgive the choice of words to conclude this review.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Decca Records, and is used for informational purposes only.