Ways to Live Forever
Music Composed by: Cesar Benito
Distributed by: MovieScore Media
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Ways to Live Forever, a dramatic film based on the novel by Sally Nicholls, stars Robbie Kay as Sam , a twelve year old boy who loves collecting stories about strange phenomenon and wants the answers to a million questions. He wants to know what it is like to smoke a cigarette, drink a beer, kiss a girl for the first time…all the things any teenager might experience, but things Sam may never have the chance to experience. Sam is dying from Leukemia. He decides to write a book including stories, lists and the answers to the questions no adult wants to answer. Included in this book is a list of things to do before he dies and, with the help of his best friend Felix (Alex Etel), Sam is going to make every one of those dreams come true.
The musical score of Ways to Live Forever was created by producer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, performer and music director Cesar Benito. Hailing from Marabella, Spain, Cesar Benito earned degrees in Music Theory, Piano and Composition from the Conservatories of Malaga and Madrid. He also graduated Magna Cum Laude in Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing & Production from Berklee College of Music, Boston. Recent compositional works include the critically acclaimed Mia Sarah, La Chica de Ayer and Los Protegidos.
Despite the fact that the main character in this film is dying, the Ways to Live Forever Soundtrack is anything but sad. The musical score begins with The Idea for the Book, featuring a lighthearted, uplifting piano supported by an upbeat string section. Most of the album just as upbeat and fun, including the track, Some Information which begins in a fantasy-like style and then seems to span the universe in music, allowing us to visit France, Spain and more through a blending of musical score. As Cesar Benito explains, Director Gustavo Ron wanted “the score to be light, bright, even uplifting, playing in the background like a gentle breeze and evolve along with the story.”
Although the ninth track, Ghosts, is a little on the spooky side, things don’t start getting somber until the seventeenth track, When I’m Gone. This musical mood continues through the next couple of tracks as the main characters of the film deal with the inevitable. Then, things take a sudden upward turn, culminating in Remember Forever. The musical score of this final track perfectly compliments the first track - the character is introduced to us with happy, melodic tunes and we leave him just the same way.
When I discovered what this film was all about, I was surprised. After all, for the most part, this was an extremely uplifting musical score. But the more I read about the film, the more I realized that Cesar Benito perfectly captured the character of Sam and his celebration of life and all it might have in store for him, rather than dwelling on the disease he is dying from. I found the Ways to Live Forever Soundtrack very entertaining as a stand alone album, and perfect as a musical score that helps define what is going on in the film. Kudos to Cesar Benito! I hope to hear more from this composer in the future.