Remembering James Horner Blogathon: The Perfect Storm (2000)

The 4th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon is among us between June 21st to 23rd!

Having joined in the last few years, its been quite a joy to look back at all the entries and also being able to discover some of the movies scored by James Horner who has no doubt given life through music in a lot of movies to help enhance each scene and story. After Year 1 doing Once Upon a Forest to Year 2 doing The Spiderwick Chronicles and then last year, tackling The 33, one of his scores, this year is trekking a little back in time but into a more dramatic film to look at the 2000 drama thriller, The Perfect Storm. I’ve only seen this movie once before years ago but I remember it being quite good, so it’ll be nice to revisit it.

The Perfect Storm (2000)

the perfect storm

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Cast: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, John Hawkes, Allen Payne, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Ironside

An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger. – IMDB

Based on the 1997 non-fiction book of the same name by Sebastian Junger (which I haven’t read), The Perfect Storm is a biographical disaster drama film that portrays the story of a group of commercial fishermen lead by Captain Billy Tyne (George Clooney) who goes out further than the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to the Flemish Cap on a late season fishing expediation due to a poor fishing season to try to get a big catch. However, on their way back, they end up getting caught in the “perfect storm of 1991” where three storms converge to create a deadly weather system.

While The Perfect Storm’s primarily focus is on the crew of Andrea Gail and their loved ones and friends at home waiting for their return, The Perfect Storm of 1991 wasn’t only about one fishing boat but also about the actual storm that also caught other unfortunate souls out at sea and the brave rescue efforts of both the jobs of the Coast Guard and the Air National Guard in these desperate times, risking their safety to save others in need.  Its a story that tells the hard life of fishermen but also the dangers of working in working as rescue crews whether at sea or in the air. In that sense, it did a good job of portraying both of the sides and giving the story a few more layers and angles.

Looking at the cast, it holds some solid efforts. George Clooney plays a main role as the captain who, while isn’t a mean guy, is trying to win back some reputation from having a bad season and the desire to bring back a huge catch to prove his worth. At the same time, close to him is Mark Wahlberg who plays one of the fishermen Bobby who leaves on this last trip to get enough money to get a better life for his family. There’s some other drama and conflicts between some of the crew that propel the story forward in the background especially between William Fichtner’s character Sully and John C. Reilly’s Murph. This is a male-heavy movie however, Diane Lane plays Bobby’s girlfriend. Everyone delivers on their roles pretty well.

The Perfect Storm actually relies heavily on its soundtrack to give that dramatic turn of effects. Some of the scenes are solely the soundtrack and gives it a certain life and atmosphere that gives an idea of whats going on even without any dialogue going about. As with any disaster film, it has a lot of drama to it especially in the face of loss and danger. There’s a beautiful patriotic music in the beginning, adventure and victory comes in through the middle and as the crew enters into the perfect storm and danger ensues, the music also becomes a great piece to bring life to their fight for survival and the tension that builds with each scene and issues that occurs. The power of music and scores is such a strong element in a movie to build up the mood in every situation and for The Perfect Storm, that has to be one of the strongest elements that keeps the movie in check to amplify its emotions.

A huge thanks to Film Music Central for hosting this great blogathon!
Have you seen The Perfect Storm?
Which movie did you love James Horner’s score the most?
Remember to head over to Film Music Central to catch up on the other entries!