Jane Eyre – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Composer: Dario Marianelli Feat. Jack Liebeck

Befitting its subject, Jane Eyre is a melancholy album. Each track has its own character, unusual in a film soundtrack. As we go through the film, the mood shifts dramatically through each one and there are some outstanding pieces. Arrival and Thornfield Hall, is especially atmospheric and conveys all of the emotions of the book and film, but there is a real hope and lightness seeping through hit. An Insuperable Impediment is heavy, with a focus on the cello has a real drama to it. Here the film is at its height in terms of tension. Immediately after this, Life on the Moors really indicates a kind of hiatus, Jane has a respite from what’s happened to her. Its tone is completely different and at odds with the next track, The Call Within, which is almost frightening in its high pitched anxiety.

Given the character of Jane Eyre, a woman used to reigning in her emotions, having learnt to give nothing away, the music allows us a greater glimpse of her emotions. The same goes to Mr Rochester, whose powerful demeanour hides a great secret and weaknesses. The film isn’t able to use physical intimacy to show the bond between the characters; its up to the score to deliver that understanding. The characters are always on their guard and so the music becomes the only honest performance.

As a fan of the book, but having not seen the film, I was still able to fully enjoy the CD. Its passages are perfectly identifiable with the book and that it can be enjoyed in its own right is its success. Dario Marianelli is the Oscar winning composer for the film Atonement and this is an impressive addition to his body of work. Jack Liebeck, English virtuoso violinist, features heavily on the CD and carries the score energetically. I would recommend this even for those cautious of classical music, it’s powerful and as with most soundtracks, bite-sized. It’s constantly changing and as a result very interesting and accessible.

Maliha Basak

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