I wanted to write a few words about the Hunger Games soundtrack, but to be fair to everyone who hasn’t seen it yet I’ll put it behind this “more” link. So, if you would like to see my thoughts on the soundtrack, go ahead and click through for the full post. If you’d rather not know all the precious details, then pay no attention to the link below.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
Alright, now that the SPOILERZ bases are covered, let’s get started.
Let me make one thing clear – I like the Hunger Games soundtrack. Now, that being said, I was surprised at how much silence was in the movie. No dialogue, no music, just ambient sounds. I understand the need for silence in movies. It can be a very powerful narrative device to show how a character feels alone/separated from the rest of the world, or to build tension in a critical moment in the story. However, like all other powerful devices, it should be used sparingly.
Just for fun, I ran the numbers (in NO WAY does this imply that the length of time a piece of music lasts is any indication of its worth). The movie runs 142 minutes. The official soundtrack is only 44 minutes long. That leaves 98 minutes of silence, 70% of the movie has no soundtrack – this is not an example of using a powerful narrative device sparingly. Even if they ran through the official soundtrack twice, there would still be an hour and a half of silence in the movie. I’m not sure how this actually translates to the theatrical release because I’m sure they used some of the music more than once in the film; even though it does feel like there’s 98 minutes of silence.
Like I said, I love the music that IS there. The title theme has this great “space cowboy” feel about it, which reminds me of Firefly and Cowboy Bebop. “Healing Katniss” is a beautiful piece of music and I love the energy in”Katniss Afoot” except that the energy only lasts for 1’49”. I’m not sure why the movie was edited to have so much silence in it, but I wish they had used the music they had throughout the movie instead of leaving long periods of silence. The movie is great, the soundtrack is great, I just wanted to hear more.