Bright Star

Musical Score By: Mark Bradshaw

Performed By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            On the surface, it would seem that poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and next door neighbor Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) have nothing in common.  Fanny is a fashionista with little interest in literature, much less poetry.  And yet, Keatsí dedication to caring for his seriously ill younger brother inspires Fanny to take notice of John, even going so far as to ask him to teach her about poetry.  In poetry, the two are able to put their differences aside and eventually, the two begin an impassioned affair.  Set in London in the early 1800s, Bright Star is the tale of an obsessive romance cut short in its prime. 

            When I popped the Bright Star Soundtrack into my CD player, I was surprised.  I expected to hear period pieces or love story melodies.  Instead, I was greeted by voices, those of John Keats and Fanny Brawne - excerpts from the movie set to a musical background.  The music, composed by Mark Bradshaw, is comprised of strings and keyboards and represents the music of the time period of the film.  However, the music is not the focus of this soundtrack.

            In a unique twist, the creators of the Bright Star Soundtrack opted to place the focus on the poetry and love letters of John Keats and Fanny Brawne.  Although rather short at twenty-plus minutes in length, the soundtrack perfectly summarizes the entire film for the listener. 

            If  you are looking for orchestral performances, this soundtrack will not be for you.  In fact, there are some folks who will wonder why a soundtrack was created for this film.  After all, the music was not the centerpiece of the soundtrack.  But, being a fan of the written word and a lover of poetry, I thoroughly enjoyed the uniqueness of the Bright Star Soundtrack.  The written word can music to my ears when recited properly and Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish were perfectly suited for this performance.  Fans of the film will find this soundtrack to be a perfect companion piece to the film itself and well worth the price.


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