In Zombieland (a delectable movie), there’s a scene where the four dysfunctional people we’re learning to love smash up a store full of tacky western-style souvenirs. And have loads of fun doing it. They’re allowed to, because as far as we and they know, they’re the only human beings left in the US. It’s them against millions of zombies.
And what do we hear on the soundtrack while they’re smashing the souvenirs? The Marriage of Figaro overture, sounding like wild, crazy fun, just as it ought to in the opera. (It would work even better in the film if they’d chosen a better performance.)
This is another example of the new use of classical music on soundtracks and in commercials. It’s chosen, apparently, simply for its sound, without any overlay of classical music romance or pomp.
Compare this to the last movement of the Brahms Violin Concerto during an especially violent murder scene in There Will Be Blood. Again, the music suggests wild and crazy fun, though this time with a biting ironic edge, and without any overlap with anything Brahms most likely had in mind. (It’s a much more violent scene than anything in Zombieland, even though — or maybe because — the only monster around is human.)Related