The Tetris movie, which is now streaming free to subscribers on Apple TV+, gets at least one thing absolutely correct about the history of the popular ’80s computer game: The Tetris theme song is a bonafide bop.
Directed by Jon S. Baird, with a screenplay by Noah Pink, the Tetris movie tells the somewhat true story of the fierce legal battle to secure the handheld legal rights to Tetris, a game invented by a Russian designer during the height of the Soviet Union. Taron Egerton stars as Henk Rogers, a Dutch businessman at the center of all this legal contract drama.
Unfortunately, because the movie centers on Henk Rogers, rather than the inventor of the game, Alexey Pajitnov (played in the movie by Nikita Yefremov), the movie picks up after Tetris has already been designed, marketed, and sold to the world. This means we don’t actually get to see the moment the iconic Tetris theme song came to light. In fact, the song is a 19th Russian folk song called “Korobeiniki,” and Pajitnov the game designer said in a 2014 interview with The Guardian that he never approved of using it as the Tetris theme. “It was very embarrassing for me,” he said. “When kids of the world hear these pieces of music, they start screaming: ‘Tetris! Tetris!’ That’s not very good for Russian culture.”
And yet, the Tetris movie soundtrack still makes liberal use of the Tetris theme song. The score, done by British composer Lorne Balfe, consists of slow, tense variations on the familiar theme. There’s “Tetris Theme Reworked,” by Metaphonic, along with Balfe’s originals “Puzzle Piece” and “Fall Into Place.” But it’s not until the movie’s credit’s that you really get to hear Balfe’s upbeat, techno Tetris theme remix, in all its glory. Trust us, you’ll be up out of your seat and dancing.
But that’s not the only good music featured in the Tetris movie. Check out the full Tetris movie soundtrack below, which you can also find on Apple Music, or wherever you get music.