Hardcore Never Dies

Gino Taihutti and Jiri Taihutti

" Hardcore Never Dies' score renders itself almost useless "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the music as heard in the movie

(due to a glitch above credited composers are mispelled)

Hardcore Never Dies is a 2023 Dutch film directed by Jim Taihuttu. The film is best described as a classic rise-and-fall story, with elements of De Battre Mon Coeur S'Est Arrêté and the hardcore subculture that emerged in the city of Rotterdam in the 1990s.

We follow Michael, someone who dropped out of secondary school, attempting to break through as a pianist of classical music. Meanwhile, his brother Danny, a true 'hardcore' person, is into drug trafficking. In between them is the parental concern, which increases as Michael is caught up in his brother's world.

Michael plays Beethoven (Eroica) and Peer Gynt throughout the film. Naturally, the classical music is there for an obvious reason, but especially the Peer Gynt piece, linked to a piece of hardcore (DJ Rufnneck - Ruffneck (still) rules the hardcore scene) that uses the melody of the piece by Edvard Grieg. The track was a hit, but according to the more informed hardcore followers, it was a sign of the demise of the whole scene (too commercial). The hardcore tune makes one swift appearance. However, the end credits list the classical piece as written and recorded by George Bizet, probably because of uninformed information based on a recording and pairing of Carmen and Peer Gynt.

On paper, the contrast between the two genres forms a bridge between the softness of the character of Michael and his transition as he joins the hardcore scene, but in reality, it feels very random.

Gino Taihuttu, a producer, musician, and composer, wrote an original score with the help of his son Jiri for the film directed by his other son Jim. Gino composed his most desirable score yet for De Oost; the repetitive atmosphere and use of percussion made it broadly appealing.

Hardcore Never Dies features a repellent score by Gino and Jiri Taihuttu. The music is sparse, electronic, atmospheric, repetitive and a basic score in its truest form. Describing it from a textbook point of view, the score serves some purpose in signaling the inner good of Michael, and while he strays from his intended path, it suggests there is still hope, underscored by warm electronics. It intertwines with the ever-luring tensions of his brother's crimes within the hardcore community and their family crisis, aided by a more unnerving, repetitive, and ominous electronic soundscape. The different aspects are reprised throughout the film, presented as long series of short cues in an approximately 40+ minute musical work, but only in a few elite moments do these provide some very minor effectiveness.

Knowingly, some scores are deprived of any musical merit, but serve their purpose in context. Yet, Hardcore Never Dies' score renders itself almost useless - both ways - in a film that is equally uninteresting.

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(total of 3 votes - average 1/5)

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- (music as heard in the movie 2023)