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A Hologram For The King by Johnny Klimek & Tom Tykwer (Review)

posted May 29, 2016, 12:12 PM by Michael Hollands


German director Tom Tykwer is back for one more movie: A Hologram For The King. It is his second film starring Tom Hanks. They had previously collaborated on Cloud Atlas, which was co-directed by Mr. Tykwer. The director, who also works on the music of his own films, is usually joined by two co-composers: Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil. The trio had worked well together on films like Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer or the aforementioned Cloud Atlas, for which they had also received a Golden Globe nomination. Yet, this time Mr. Heil did not contribute music to the project.

I don't know who wrote what for this particular score. The score's main theme, which is introduced in “Mr. Clay”, is a very beautiful one which I immediately liked. The first track also features a nice cello motif, followed by a beautiful vocal part and nice string playing. This theme, however, is not often reprised throughout the album, which is a pity indeed. The album continues with “Full Steam Ahead", which is a quite entertaining piece of music with an interesting instrumentation, yet repetitive rhythm. It's a nice cue, but not really close to the quality heard in the opening track. The score is not overly thematic, yet smaller, secondary themes and some dark choir bits are introduced in “Voyager”. Fortunately, the beautiful main theme reappears in “Timeless”. For the oriental touch the two composers utilized a nice instrumentation and motifs that work well on the album. As a whole, the score never becomes spectacular or especially exciting. Yet, I think both composers succeeded in balancing the musical themes and motifs.

The album is not particularly great, nor is it likely to be considered a future classic, but there is a really good theme and some other well-written pieces. The opening theme is wonderfully reprised in “A Hologram For The King - End Title”, which is actually a nice theme suite. However, this track does not end the album presentation. “Traveler” is a bonus cue, which was luckily included, since it further shows that there is quality and well-crafted material.