Music is fascinating not just for its own sake, but also for its effect on the listener. And when coupled with visuals the effect can be intense. But sometimes music is over used. Take the show “Grey’s Anatomy”. The first few (I am ashamed to say it) seasons I watched, I felt bombarded by music. Almost more music than dialogue. And intense scenes were ruined by the added music. We were not allowed to observe the naked suffering but the director had to indicate to us that the scene was sad and intense by adding the music.
Such is the case with the scene from “Children of Men”, based on the book by P.D. James. I did not read the book, but have read her Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, which are damn fine. Read them. I meant to read the book before I saw the movie, but forgot that she had written the book. I do not like to read a book after seeing the movie. My mind’s eye is too influenced by the movie and I can’t build the scenes and faces of the character after seeing how the director of the film imagined them.
Anyways…the scene would have been much stronger, his agony more intense if there were no music. Too many spices spoil the flavor. Music is the MSG of movies. Instead of cooking well, directors, Alfonso Cuarón in this case, just dump in some MSG to make it good. Too often the scenes are spoiled, the emotions indicated instead of felt.