The mind-bending sci-fi movie combines an emotional drama with stunning dreamscape imagery, and old hand Zimmer's music more than matches up.
Tense, quietly pulsing drums and strings are used to bring the dreams of Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Caine and others to life. To inspire himself, Zimmer read the book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter because, the composer said, it combined 'the idea of playfulness in mathematics and playfulness in music'. What emerged was an imaginative, electronic sound world. At one point, while working on the score, Zimmer incorporated a guitar sound reminiscent of Ennio Morricone and brought in Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths, to play the part.
Édith Piaf's song Non, je ne regrette rien, which features in the film is also integrated into Zimmer's score. The film's iconic brass instrument fanfare is reminiscent of a slowed-down version of the song.
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