Alan Silvestri has worked with film director and visionist, Robert Zemeckis, collaborating on many films over a 20 + year period. Beowulf, the grand undertaking of the classic poem, run through the same animation engine that produced The Polar Express, hit theatres in November and did respectable numbers with a varied audience. The myth centers on the destruction of the nuisance known as Grendel, whose overly sensitive hearing is tortured by the merrymaking of the kingdom’s inhabitants despite his living many miles from the location. Retaliating, he decimates the drunken group until a certain hero by the name of Beowulf arrives to rid the kingdom of the loathsome demon.
The mother, a transforming dragon-creature that can take on the guise of extraordinary beauty and can promise wealth and success if the man will but provide her a child, is a deceitful twister of words and intent. All that glittered is certainly not gold in dealings with the woman animated by Angelina Jolie, and what entices can also ruin. And so the mythological epic poem goes, as splashed across the screen in both 3D and IMAX renderings.
The score of the film is often majestic in keeping with tales of might and magic, of hero warriors and formidable creatures. That is to say that Silvestri doesn’t stray too far away from the formulas that create such sweeping scores. However, this is not to dismiss the music of the film. While its evocative score doesn’t offer anything new, it does work hard to provide a strong sense of the period and of the storyline that it serves. Add to the score the songs that are sung by Robin Wright Penn (“A Hero Must Come Home,” “Gently as She Goes”) ,who stars as the long-suffering wife of both King Hrothgar and King Beowulf, and the end credit version of "Gently As She Goes" sung by Idina Menzel, and you have a decent musical representation of Beowulf’s onscreen score.
This film’s score, however, shouldn’t be separated too far from the images of the film it supports.