Composed By: Joseph Trapanese

Distributed by: Sony Music Masterworks

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


               In the dramatic survival film, Arctic, Mads Mikkelsen is Overgard, a man stranded in the Arctic Circle after a plane crash.  Living in the shell of the crashed plane, he manages to stay alive, eating fish he catches, mapping out his surroundings and creating a distress beacon.  When a helicopter attempts a rescue and crashes, the pilot killed and the passenger (Maria Thelma Smaradottir) severely injured, Overgard decides to aid the woman, attempting to get to a building he locates on a map in the helicopter.  Though it appears to be only two days away, the trek is arduous and slow-going thanks to the woman’s injuries.  Can Overgard and his new charge survive the treacherous terrain and the polar bear that appears to be hunting them?

               The musical score of Arctic was created by American composer, arranger and producer Joseph Trapanese.  Beginning his composing career by collaborating with Daft Punk on the score of Tron: Legacy.  Since then, he has created musical scores for a number of notable projects, including The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Straight Outta Compton, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Only the Brave, Shimmer Lake, The Crew, Need for Speed Payback and more.

               There isn’t a great deal of dialogue in Arctic.  After all, Overgard is stranded in the middle of the Arctic Circle for quite some time before the helicopter crashes.  His newfound friend is badly injured and not much in a talkative mood.  Thus, the music must serve as a way to express how the main character feels in this situation, while giving the listeners the idea of the vastness of the space around him, the beauty and the dangers.  The music created by Joseph Trapanese is orchestral and mostly performed in lower registry, allowing the listener to feel the direness of Overgard’s situation, even before he rescues the woman from the downed helicopter.  And though much of the score expresses darkness, danger and sometimes despair, there are some moments of beauty expressed in this soundtrack.  Inevitable features a beautiful violin solo and Hope has an uplifting vocal sound.

               I found the Arctic Soundtrack to be a bit on the dark side, but that was what the movie called for and I believe that Joseph Trapanese created the perfect score to describe Overgard’s desperate situation.  The score definitely inspired me to find out more about this film and, having never heard of it until I listened to the score, I have now decided I want to see the film…all thanks to the music by Joseph Trapanese – well done, sir!


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