The relationship between a movie and its music: Snatch

Essay by giveme75centsCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2008

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Snatch has been one of my favorite movies, since the very first time I saw it. One of the things that makes the movie so enjoyable is its music. The music in Snatch is quite original, and not what you might expect from this kind of movie.

Snatch is directed by Guy Ritchie. It is set in London in the “underworld” full of “gangsters”. These “gangsters” range from thieves, gypsies, unlicensed boxing promoters, and even self-proclaimed Jewish jewelers. The lives of all in the movie are intertwined and come together at one joining point a stolen 40 karat diamond.

From the very beginning of the movie you can tell the uniqueness of the music and how each character seems to have a specific musical theme tied to them. The first scene in the movie that contains character themed music is in a jeweler’s in Antwerp. All of the men in this scene are Jewish or posing as being Jewish.

And the music completely reflects this. The music in this scene definitely has the feel of traditional Hebrew or Jewish music, with a little bit of an upbeat contemporary flair. This theme of music is reflected in all the jewelers in the rest of the movie, of which include Doug “The Head” and Avi.

The next character in the movie that has a definitive theme is Boris. Boris is a Russian, and sells weapons to many of the characters in the movie. The musical theme that seems to follow him around has a Russian flair, but the music gives you an inkling of his untrustworthiness. The music makes you feel suspicious whenever you see him.

Bricktop, the kingpin of this London “underworld”, has a musical theme as well. The music that surrounds him is rather unpleasant and most definitely dissonant. It reflects the unpleasantness of his character and makes you feel uncomfortable with him.

Turkish and Tommy, the unlicensed boxing promoters are sort of the good guys or heroes of the movie. As seen so many times in this movie, they have a reflective theme as well. Their musical theme tends to be very simple, light, and pleasant but with an upbeat quick tempo.

Frankie “Four Fingers”, the thief, with a passion for gambling always has music with a quick tempo and that is quite often dynamically loud. It is quite reflective of his hip persona. Several times he is surrounded by a quick jolt of “Viva Las Vegas” or a fun loving jazzy tune.

Mickey the “Pikey”, a fast-talking gypsy bare-knuckle boxer, is always surrounded by a rather cheerful and carefree tune. It definitely gives you the sense that his character is not worried about much, and almost has a punchy feel.

My favorite character, Bullet Tooth Tony, has several different musical themes. The first theme that follows him is Madonna’s “Lucky Star”. This is played during several scenes where he just seems to have some luck. He is also followed by a theme that conveys his darker and more forceful side, but still always a catchy tune.

The entire movie is full of music that has incredible impact on every scene. You can not see this movie without being drawn to the music, because it is such a part of the movie. There are many scenes that are intense, and the intensity is brought out all the more by the music. My favorite examples of this are during fight scenes.

The first fight scene that comes to mind is actually the last boxing match in the movie. Mickey has been instructed not to knock out the other fighter. The music is very monotonous and rock like, as the two fighters bounce around the ring throwing punches at each other, but neither fighter really makes any headway.

Another scene that displays its intensity through the music is the scene where Mickey’s Mum’s caravan goes up in flames, with her in it. The music in this scene is very intense. It starts out mellow but increases dynamically and in tempo, as several pikeys struggle to hold back Mickey.

Snatch is definitely one of my favorite movies, and the music in it is just as enjoyable, and tells just as much of a story as does the movie itself.