Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the most underrated films that came out this year. A few weeks ago, I did a review on the film and gave it a 9.7/10. The film currently sits as my fifth favorite film of the year, which is pretty high considering I have seen 39 new films thus far. As a soundtrack analyzer, a lot of credit has to be given to the unique soundtrack written for Kubo and the Two Strings. This is why I have decided to feature Dario Marianelli's score in this week's segment for Sounds on Screen.
Marianelli opens the film with a loud brass note, followed by strings that lead us into the mystery of the plot. Just as we start to descend into the mystery, a sweet melody is played to enchant us with symphonic grandiose. We are charmed into the film, but throughout the soundtrack sidenotes of Asiatic melodies and plucked instrumentation create mysticism for the magic abilities that Kubo possesses. The quick plucks bring Kubo's stories to live and entertain the audience through energetic riffs. At times, I bobbed a bit in my seat in amazement of the two-stringed instrumentation that Marianelli gives us. Most of the film balances on a tightrope between symphonic melodies and the plucked instrumentation, bringing us a classic score with new innovations to enhance the storytelling methods of the film. Finally, the end credits bring us a familiar but reworked tune with Regina Spektor's rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Overall, this is the most solid soundtrack I have heard this year other than Sing Street.
"The Impossible Waves"
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Image credit: By Tom dl - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8678410