Warner Bros. has released the first taste of Hans Zimmer's soundtrack from Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. The longtime Nolan collaborator has scored all but one of the director's feature-length movies since 2005's Batman Begins, most recently Interstellar. His composing style has always been a good fit for thrillers and action movies, making him a logical choice to continue his work with Nolan on Dunkirk.
Nolan has previously said that Dunkirk is not a traditional war movie and more of a "suspense film." That would only strengthen the case for Nolan to hand the musical reins to Zimmer, whose scores for movies like The Dark Knight and Inception only heightened the intensity. Now, the first real taste of Zimmer's soundtrack is online, and it's as intense and relentless as you may expect.
WaterTower music, Warner Bros. music label, has released "Supermarine", the fourth track on the Dunkirk soundtrack and the first to be revealed in full. The title refers to the manufacturer that made the famous Spitfire planes flown by British pilots during World War II. The track is guided by a typically charging, pulse-pounding rhythm and accented by war sounds like propellers and bombs. Zimmer also worked in a siren-like mix of horns and synths, building to a powerful crescendo by the end of the eight-minute track. The composition will likely accompany scenes featuring Tom Hardy as British pilot Farrier, as his character will be lead one of Dunkirk's three points-of-view: air, land, and sea.
A recent TV spot showed a snippet of Hardy in an intense dogfight, which is where you'll likely hear the "Supermarine" track in the background. Whenever it appears, the fact that Nolan wanted to make Dunkirk more of a survival thriller made the movie an ideal fit for Zimmer's distinctive talents; he has long been one of the best and most prolific action composers in Hollywood, and the new track sounds as intense as anything he's composed for Nolan.
The tension focus is being echoed in a lot of news about Dunkirk. A Friday report in The Telegraph previews a story by Nolan himself in the paper's Saturday magazine. The director describes how he wanted to focus entirely on the survival mission of the Battle of Dunkirk and avoid exploring legendary former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill or the political side of things:
“What that ruled out for me immediately was getting bogged down in the politics of the situation. ... We don’t have generals in rooms pushing things around on maps. We don’t see Churchill. We barely glimpse the enemy. ... It’s a survival story. I wanted to go through the experience with the characters.”
The right elements are in place for Dunkirk to be yet another spirited effort from Nolan, who has created some of Hollywood's most exciting thrillers in recent years. Some segments of war movie fans, however, may be turned off by Dunkirk's uncommonly short runtime and the fact that it's rated PG-13. But Nolan has already proved that he doesn't need excessive blood or violence to tell a good story, and Zimmer certainly doesn't need an R rating to create a memorable score.
Source: WaterTower Music
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