Saturday, March 19, 2011
The Beauty in the Beastly
Review by Helen San
MARCELO ZARVOS is a Brazilian classical and jazz pianist turned film composer who has a penchant for simple, haunting piano themes. A relative newcomer, he scored his first film only in 2000, mostly with indie films, moving rather quickly to Hollywood fare with THE GOOD SHEPHERD (co-composed with BRUCE FOWLER) in 2006. That is his first score that brought his name to my attention, a score I rushed to buy immediately after watching the movie. Believe it or not, I don't actually do that very often.
What sets ZARVOS apart from others is he seems to be able to express a lot of poetry with not a lot of notes or fanfare. Less is more, in ZARVOS ' case. One piano and a few strings, and he delivers lyrical support that doesn't overwhelm a weak picture, yet doesn't underwhelm a strong one either. It is no wonder then that in the last 10 years, he's scored a whopping 40 projects, which attests to the demand for this uncommon talent of simplicity and balance.
His latest opus, BEASTLY, is scored for a modernized remake of the old fable, Beauty and the Beast. A handsome-but-selfish preppy high school student gets cursed into bald, tattooed freak, a curse that can only be broken if a girl falls in love with him by the end of the year. Obviously, without his good looks, he'll have to actually, be nice to girls. We all know the ending. Without his hair and flawless skin, the guy develops a personality, matures, falls in love, and gets the girl.
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