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Film Language: Sound and Editing

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

Kingsman: The Secret Service

I love this scene in The Kingsman due to the way they used the music to add a comedic effect to the scene. The dramatic music mixed with the gruesome colourful head explosions make the scene much more enjoyable to watch. This was the kind of atmosphere that Matthew Margeson, one of the composers for the movie, was going for:


"Our first couple musical ideas and sketches were a bit too serious for the mood that Matthew was going for," Margeson tells The Hollywood Reporter of the score, now available via La-La Land Records. "He kept reminding us that we always need to be having fun while watching the movie. He wanted the film to always make you smile, no matter what was happening."

The use of dramatic classical music is a great way to accompany the scene as a way to juxtapose the crude scene. The use of classical music makes the gruesome scene seem much milder rather than terrifying. Especially at the start when the music starts to get louder and louder as a way to build up tension in the audience, making sure they are paying attention to what will be happening next. Once the heads start blowing up, on every beat there is an explosion sound to accompany the music, to ensure that the non-diegetic music is not too disconnected.


They also used a popular British Song that is used to celebrate special occasions, which was a reference to the British setting of the movie. According to Margeson, this was done on purpose.

There were lots of discussions on whether we were British-sounding enough. We tried lots of things in early stages. Ultimately, I think what happens, is at the start, both the story and the music are very British-sounding.

I think this was a great idea since it creates a connection between the music and context rather than just any classical song. Not only that, it was a celebratory song which adds to the scene since it shows the enemies dying, helping the heroes in this scene succeed.


In conclusion, the use of music not only adds to the comedic effect and lessens the shock of the gruesome scene but its even connected to the context.


Sources:

LEE, ASHLEY. “‘Kingsman’: How Two Composers Revived the Secret Service’s Musical Sound.” The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Feb. 2015, www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kingsman-score-how-two-composers-772272. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

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