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Hours by Benjamin Wallfisch (Review)

posted Dec 2, 2013, 9:59 PM by Kaya Savas

Hours comes at a time of sadness due to the tragic passing of Paul Walker, but the work behind the film is something that still should be celebrated. Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has crafted a stunning character journey that accompanies Walker’s powerful performance as a father struggling through tragedy to keep his newborn daughter alive. This is an overcoming the odds type of story, but its focus here is on our main character. This man is going through the horrendous experience of losing his wife in childbirth, hurricane Katrina striking and trying to keep his premature daughter alive through the disaster. This is not a true story, and I think that allows Wallfisch to go at it with as much power as he can. The result is a stunningly powerful, intense andc intimate character journey. 


The story gets going rather quickly and right off the bat Paul Walker’s character, Nolan loses his wife. Wallfisch could have done things quite melodramatically, but he doesn’t. He handles the story with pure mastery by scoring loss with the right amount of terror and heartache. The track “Searching For Abigail” is also a haunting one that also introduces us to his daughter's theme. It’s not until the track “Bad Battery” where the disastrous reality of the situation is apparent and the music takes a much more frenetically suspenseful approach. Wallfisch keeps this electronic approach for those tension-filled moments yet will continually balance it with the emotional heartache that opened up the story. The great part is that these are long tracks that really show you how well the score works. The score works in these large strokes that fully immerse you in the story the music is telling. Heartache slowly turns into the beautiful inspiration to push on. Finally we get to that point at the end, that emergence from the darkness in the track “46th Hour”. There we get the full rush of relief and emotional culmination of the whole journey Nolan and Abigail went through. This is a very intimate and beautiful score that is a triumphant journey over pain and adversity.

Hours demonstrates Benjamin Wallfisch’s incredible ability to hone in on true human emotion in times of despair. This is a heartbreaking yet inspiring journey through tragedy. The music is a full rush of emotions, and culminates with the symbolic rise from the darkness. The electronic approach for the tension-filled moments works extremely well. Overall this is a fantastic effort from Wallfisch that wonderfully accompanies Paul Walker’s tour de force performance. Wallfisch is without a doubt one of the next great composers, and his recent work from here on Hours to Summer In February is proof of that. This is a beautiful score that is not to be missed.

*This review is dedicated to Paul Walker. As well as to his family and his friends.