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Red Krokodil by Alexander Cimini (Review)

posted Nov 4, 2014, 2:20 PM by Kaya Savas

Red Krokodil is not your average film. The film is more of an experimental effort that deals with the inner functions of a character’s mind. A krokodil addict awakens in a post-apocalyptic world, and years of abuse he has done to himself with the drug is reflected in a hallucinogenic journey of his inner-mind. Composer Alexander Cimini delivers a very wonderful accompaniment to this bizarre film. In what feels like a symphonic movement at times, we are pushed through a narrative wash of hyperbolic emotions. The results are a score that envelopes you and plays off your emotional responses very well even if it pushes you at times.

The film is a very visual one, but luckily the melodic score echoes the narrative well. What makes the score stand out the most are the wonderful instrumentation and rich melodic approach. Like I said earlier, the music feels so in-touch with itself that it comes across as a symphonic movement. This score can stand on its own two feet and walk around with no assistance necessary. So at times you may feel like the music is doing a little too much if you think of it in the context of a visual narrative, but the desired effect is definitely to absorb you fully. The score does go into a lot of varying styles. “Endless Roads” ditches the string-based approach and goes more for a tonal atmospheric approach. Everything feels organic and real, and that’s what keeps it together in the end. Since the film itself is a bit of a wandering creature, it’s hard to know where you are at any given time, and the music can change at the drop of a dime. You can be in a dreamlike trance and then shift quickly to a horror-esque attack of the strings, then back to a weeping violin. So, in that respect the journey’s tone can be quite a hard one to penetrate into. But it doesn’t change the fact there is some wonderful writing here on full display.

Red Krokodil does a fantastic job of setting its own unique soundscape and lush theatrical qualities. It can be quite showy at times, but the melodic writing and melancholic feel make it a score that is easy to fall into. This really is a score of the mind, and while it does a great job getting us into the inner journey of the protagonist, sometimes the shifts in tone don’t translate as well and can pull you out of it. All in all, Cimini is a composer worth discovering as his melodic and thematic abilities are very noteworthy.