Soundtrack Review: JANE EYRE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
April 5th, 2011

Rating: 3/5

The classic and refined sense of the Victorian era is beautifully captured in director Cary Fukunaga’s JANE EYRE, while the sound of both the time and the heart of Charlotte Bronte’s novel shine through in composer Dario Marianelli’s (PRIDE AND PREDJUICE, ATONEMENT) score for the film. During a time when a person’s true nature and feelings were often forcibly held at bay in favor of acting proper, it becomes this struggle between want and station that bleeds through the story of JANE EYRE and in turn is reverberated through the wistful, and at times painful, strings and piano Marianelli draws upon to flesh out this world.

Fukunaga strips away the many interpretations and retellings of this classic tale and focuses in on Jane herself, how she came to be, and the love story that unexpectedly comes into, and forever changes, her life. The tale of JANE EYRE is one of strife, but not one of pity. Jane (Mia Wasikowska) has been dealt a less than ideal hand in life, but faces each hurdle with her head held high and a steadfast eye. In doing so, she ends up finding someone challenged and taken with her as opposed to the years of rejection she had faced up until then. Marianelli’s score never overpowers, instead enhancing each moment as we move with Jane through the various moments in her life.

There is a haunting, nearly foreboding, feeling which runs throughout the film and Marianelli’s score. Even when things seem to take a hopeful turn in pieces such as “A Game of Badminton” and “Yes!”, there is still a sense that the other shoe is about to drop, working as a constant reminder that Jane’s life is one of tragedy, rarely triumph. When these moments of true heartbreak bubble up, the bass and undertones of the orchestration take center stage (“An Insuperable Impediment”) and you can almost feel the weight of new burdens coming down on Jane.

The strings in “Jane’s Escape” nearly sing out in agony as we watch our heroine make a potentially life-altering, and unquestionably painful, choice to leave Thornfield Hall and Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Marinanelli does well to add texture to these moments when words are unnecessary or unable to be expressed. Although Jane may not always say what she is feeling, Marianelli’s score rushes in to allow us to feel those emotions right along with her.

This constant struggle to be heard and say what one truly feels bursts free in pieces such as “The Call Within” and help give some release when the characters are unable to. It is in these moments where the score moves from that of simply classical to something more that Marianelli’s work truly shines.

Although Marianelli is not breaking any new ground creating a classic sounding score to accompany the retelling of a classic novel, there is a sense of fire that runs through each piece which help play to the honest, slightly rebellious, nature that set JANE EYRE apart from the other women of her time. The score blended well within the film and succeeded in creating an immersive experience into a time long past, but seeped with timeless thoughts and feelings.

This soundtrack is available through Sony Masterworks.

1. "Wandering Jane"
2. "A Thorough Education"
3. "Arrival at Thornfield Hall"
4. "The End of Childhood"
5. "White Skin Like The Moon"
6. "A Game of Badminton"
7. "In Jest or Earnest"
8. "Do You Never Laugh, Miss Eyre?"
9. "A Restless Night"
10. "Waiting for Mr. Rochester"
11. "Yes!"
12. "Mrs. Reed Is Not Quite Finished"
13. "The Wedding Dress"
14. "An Insuperable Impediment"
15. "Jane's Escape"
16. "Life On The Moors"
17. "The Call Within"
18. "Awaken"
19. "My Edward and I"

All the songs on this soundtrack composed by Dario Marianelli featuring Jack Liebeck.

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