Soundtrack Review: Viva

Soundtrack Review: Viva

Viva Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Viva by Stephen Rennicks.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 85
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 5.3
Album Excellence: 28.2%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

Viva is a 2015 Irish drama film directed by Paddy Breathnach and starring Héctor Medina, Jorge Perugorría & Luis Alberto García. When everything is for sale, what’s the value of love? Jesus does make up for a troupe of drag performers in Havana, but dreams of being a performer. When he finally gets his chance to be on stage, a stranger emerges from the crowd and punches him in the face. The stranger is his father Angel, a former boxer, who has been absent from his life for 15 years. As father and son clash over their opposing expectations of each other, Viva becomes a love story as the men struggle to understand one another and become a family again. The score is composed by Stephen Rennicks.

Ah this exciting. Stephen Rennicks of “Room” is back with another score. Well technically Viva the film was released a little before Room so he probably did the score for this one before Room. Remember Room though? That was exciting. This film set in Cuba which should fire up your imagination to what the score is like. If you don’t have imagination I will tell you right now. The score opens with ‘Opening’, and it’s absolutely no surprise that the score is minimalistic. Simple guitar play, a bit Cuban in style, which is just perfect. I remember playing a game called Tropico and the soundtrack was so Cuban you could smell it. This sounds a bit like that and I love it. ‘Bitches’ despite it’s cue name is almost a copy of the opening cue, not that I mind. I could have this on repeat all day. ‘Mirror’ is a bit different, slower and more patient build up yet I think I can still hear the opening theme in there, just at a slower pace. Is there only one motif here or is there more?

There’s more. Obviously there’s more. ‘Club’ is a far more dramatic and darker cue. The guitar is still here but somber and more powerful. Not as playful as before. This is getting serious. I definitely prefer happy Cuba and ‘Beat’ certainly fits the bill with a very rhythmic percussion show. Fun times! Ah but the fun doesn’t last. Even though the music is not as downbeat as ‘Club’, it’s allowed to be depressed with ‘After Javier’ for example. I miss the happy times, but there’s something about this guitar music which is hypnotic in nature, at least for me. I can just listen to this all day. Boy the cues are mighty short though and the score itself is only 19 minutes. Still, there’s a lot of repetition here and that’s the nature of the score. You could play a cue on repeat and you wouldn’t notice much so no need for long cues. I wonder what could have been though. See, when I was playing Tropico, those songs would just go on forever it seemed, not a care in the world. That’s what I would have preferred if I’m honest, but I’ll take this. It’s not like we got a bunch of Cuban sounding scores to listen to.

1. Opening
2. Bitches
3. Mirror
5. Beat
13. Ice Cream
19. The Dying

GD Star Rating


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