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Chasing Grace by Kim Planert (Review)

posted Jun 14, 2016, 4:24 PM by Kaya Savas

Chasing Grace tells the story of the death of a little girl as a result of an alcohol-related gun accident, and the aftermath that follows. The film is indeed a “faith-based” film that explores the power of forgiveness and faith in the healing process to overcome tragedy. While most faith-based movies go way overboard with their message, I found that Chasing Grace handled it pretty well. Usually the movie and the score beat you over the head with melodrama and forced emotions, but thankfully composer Kim Planert was able to build a tone and approach that felt genuine. Kim Planert has done some great work with composer Robert Duncan on shows like Castle and Missing, and his score to A Reason was a great example of his capabilities as a storyteller. Here he continues to show off his talents on a film that could have easily been a melodramatic mess.

It would have been easy to lay the music on thick with subject matters such as faith, alcoholism and gun violence but thankfully the score feels more organic than processed. This isn’t a long score, roughly 30-minutes, but the flow and pacing are very well orchestrated. I found that the emotional beats where able to resonate pretty well even if at times I could feel the melodrama seep in a bit. I love that the score moves into this dark place before coming out of the shadows and back into the light. As an atheist, the faith-based messages are lost on me but I appreciated the character journey that the music built.

Chasing Grace is not the typical awful and melodramatic faith-based drama that you’re used to seeing pop up now and then. The story is about forgiveness and using faith to overcome tragedy, and thankfully Kim Planert’s score accents the film instead of dominating it. The short 30-minute score feels organic and genuine even if the melodrama seeps in here and there. I think it’s a testament to Planert’s ability to navigate a tough genre overall, and deliver a score worth experiencing for some beautiful writing and emotions.