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Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Le Laowai
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Maximilien Mathevon
Label: Plaza Mayor Company Ltd
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 November 2023

Plaza Mayor Company releases Maximilien Mathevon's original score for Le Laowai. In this comedy Anthony Perrin, a French sports teacher invited by a school in China, thought he would come and discover the country quietly. It is with amazement that he learns that he will have to teach French to the student. Following a series of misunderstandings, he finds himself having to, with the help of Jackie, the sports teacher, defend the school's honour in a “pétanque” competition against champions...

The soundtrack to Le Laowai reflects a diverse and interesting project. The album opens with 'Quzhou', which has all the cliched hallmarks you'd expect if someone where to ask you to conjure up a theme that immediately brought China to mind. However, it soon shifts and turns to represent a more western style approach. The rest of the soundtrack features more western styles, with beautiful results. And I loved the implementation of the melodica, which really gives the music a unique personality.

Talking about the movie, composer Maximilien Mathevon, says: "With this nice comedy, I was able to create a very thematic score and make these themes evolve with the plot. In particular a theme which represents the main character's vision of China: first presented as stereotypical, then less and less caricatured as Anthony discovers and understands the country. Also a theme dedicated to Anthony, initially using melodica sounds, then being developed in an increasingly orchestral way. There is also a love theme, a friendship theme (using whistling sounds), and a team/competition theme."

This is a fun, upbeat score that really lightens the mood. The themes are memorable and instantly accessible and I really enjoyed tracks like 'Le-local' which pays homage to the Western genre. Once again Mathevon really throws himself at the project, delivering a wonderfully diverse and entertaining soundtrack.


Darren Rea