Score Profile and Review

Reviews - Nacho Libre

Review by Bluntinstrument

Nacho Libre is one film which thrives on its idiosyncrasities, walking the line between gentle humour and surreal/slapstick/embarrassment comedy. When it comes to music, there was evidently some indecision in finding the right style and tone but the end result seems fitting to the film, mixing corny with cute, old with pop, bongos with bogus. The amateurish recorder and dated singing of 'Hombre religioso' is probably the film's calling card, and rightly so because it captures the essence of the film's warm cultish appeal perfectly, but this isn't to say that neither Beck nor Danny Elfman in their respective approaches to scoring the film didn't contribute vitally to its character. Beck's cues often lend a calming 'reality' vibe that do most to bind the disparate audio materials, whereas Elfman's music is by turns orchestrally flamboyant (self-parodying superhero music) and mischieviously quasi Latin American (as in the Ramses suite on disc). It is a pity that Elfman gets only the one suite cue, and this even with a voiceover, but judging how his score was sidelined in favour of other choices, the balance is almost right, and some of his surviving cues (many of them brief except for the final fight, which also neatly elaborates on 'Hombre' with orchestra and chorus) most likely would not have translated well off-screen. That said, this doesn't make this disc a recommendation for Elfman fans: the cue is fun and more than serviceable but not standout enough to be an essential addition to the collection of any but the most avid fan of film or composer.
Score rating: * *
Elfman on CD rating:: *

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