96 Minutes

Composed By: Kurt Farquhar

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            The critically acclaimed drama 96 Minutes centers on four young individuals whose lives and fates intertwine on one fateful night.  Dre (Evan Ross) is a hard working high school senior.  The future looks bright for him and school is offering him a ticket out of the 'hood.  His cousin, Kevin (Jonathan Michael Trautmann), is not so lucky.  Coming from an abusive home, there aren't many options for Kevin and he finds himself contemplating joining one of the local gangs.  Carley (Brittany Snow) may come from a better home, but that doesn't mean that the family relationship in her home is stellar.  A college senior with plans for law school, she and her friend, Lena (Christian Serratos), another college senior who has just left her boyfriend, head off to the local tavern for a night out.  These four could never have guessed they would be involved in a tragic carjacking, their fates in each other's hands.

            The musical score of 96 Minutes was created by American composer Kurt Farquhar.  The youngest of five children, Farquhar's musical career began with an education that took him from Illinois to France.  He began composing symphonies by the age of twelve.  He has gone on to become a talented composer for film and television.  His résumé includes the musical scores of Soul Food, Lincoln Heights, Commitments, Miles from Home, Play'd: A Hip Hop Story, Not Easily Broken and more.

            Creating the musical score for this intense film, Kurt Farquhar had his hands full.  As he recalls: "The director Aimee Lagos and I had discussions about the distinctly different worlds that these characters come from…one being a poor inner city environment scared by violence, danger and hopelessness and the other an insulated college campus filled with all the hope in the world. I not only had to balance these two worlds….I also had to create a jarring super dark and edgy world inside the car where the crime was taking place."

            The score he created has a modern feel with electric guitar riffs, keyboards, heavy percussion and electronic sound.  The first track, Starting the Day, is upbeat and leaves the listener with the feeling that the day is bright and the mood is up.  Things get dark quickly with the very next track.  Just Trust Me has a much somber tone and leads in to the intense tracks to come.  The heightened emotions of each character - fear, anguish, despair - can all be felt within these tracks.  I loved the intensity of emotion in each track and the modern style of music used to describe the emotional state of the characters.  The only track that didn't grab me was the final track, How Did I Get Here.  The idea was great, but I didn't care for the vocals.

            The soundtrack of 96 Minutes features a rollercoaster of emotions packed into one album.  The music is terrific as a stand alone album as well as background music for the enhancement of the visuals of the film.  Kurt Farquhar did a great job blending the two worlds of the characters involved and their emotional reactions to their environments and the events that take place around them.  The 96 Minutes Soundtrack is an intense musical experience that should not be missed.


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