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Holding The Wire by Henrik Åström (Review)

posted Feb 23, 2016, 8:14 AM by Kaya Savas

Holding The Wire is a documentary you probably never knew existed, probably because it’s a super tiny film… about paintball. Yup, this doc is about competition paintball and is directed by an amateur videographer who could probably use a few lessons in shot composition and editing. Anyway, this is the most amateur of amateur films here that happens to be scored by the very able Henrik Åström who delivered a great score to the film Child Of Grace. But even here, with no budget and a film that’s trying to make backyard paintball leagues look like Remember The Titans, the score tries too hard for its own good.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this amateur director probably temped the entire documentary with Forest Gump before Henrik Åström came onboard. The entire score as it is essentially feels like variations on Forest Gump, and it’s done with not the best sample library so the score feels just too digitally clean and cheery. The tone is way too chipper and bright, and it feels like I’m getting spoonfuls of sugar scooped into my mouth. I get it, these guys are a team, they’re working together and growing as a unit. I get it, I really do. But trying to force me to be inspired by suburban Americans shooting each other with paint won’t mean I actually will be inspired. The key is to show, not force. And unfortunately I’m sure this director thinks he needed the most heroic and inspiring music to accompany footage that looks like a middle schooler filmed. In the end that’s all that there is. Henrik Åström’s melodic work and approach is as good as he could have made it, and props to Henrik for scoring such a low budget documentary with nothing but good intentions.

Holding The Wire probably took lots of effort and time from its well-intentioned director. However, there is so much that is poorly executed that the experience of watching it will probably only benefit those who were in the documentary. This seems like it was made for the people who took part in the doc, and not for people who have no experience to paintball. Henrik Åström and the score had nothing but the best intentions, but it's just a way to over-achieving tone to a documentary that was shot with no real filmmaking experience.  Think of this as a "practice" round for all involved. Hopefully it was a learning experience that everyone can grow from.