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The Last Samurai, a movie by Edward Zwick, tells the story of a broken and depressed officer who is paid to train the Japanese emperor's soldiers in order to destroy the remaining samurai but is instead caught by the samurai. Interestingly, his life was spared and as he begins to learn the ways of the samurai he learns to become them. All that, and the fact that it is an Edwark Zwick film, points not so much to an action story but to a contemplative drama with action scenes in it. This leads to a score that does not contain as much pounding action music as one would be led to expect.
What Hans Zimmer brought to the score are the depressively haunting ethnic quality of Beyond Rangoon, the intensely contemplative mood of The Thin Red Line and the sense of despair of Pearl Harbor, plus some use of oriental musical instruments, e.g. the inevitable taiko drums for the action scenes.
The score contains a lot of music that makes you 'feel' rather than be excited. If you have enjoyed previous Hans Zimmer scores as mentioned above, don't hesitate to get this too.
The only way to describe the film and the music score is to say the film was great and the music OUTSTANDING. I love the way the music mirrors the film. Every time I listen to the CD I cannot help but to be moved by the music.
Each track mirrors the highly emotional events of the film. Once you have seen it you can almost picture the dancing of the warriors around the tiger and the callous shooting of the brave samurai in the field.
Really can't recommend enough...but only if you've seen and enjoyed the film.