Before the Rains

Composed By: Mark Kilian

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In 1937 southern India, the setting of the movie Before the Rains, the power the English wield over the citizens of the country can often times be devastating.  However, the days of English rule are not long for India thanks to a growing nationalist movement.  Ambitious young T.K. (Rahul Bose) has abandoned his roots to throw in his lot with the British until his boss, a British entrepreneur and a married man (Linus Roache) starts an affair with a local married village woman (Nandita Das).  Not only is this relationship considered taboo due to their marital status, but to T.K.ís culture, this mix of races is strictly forbidden.  T.K. now finds himself torn between his ambitions and his loyalty to his past.

            The soundtrack of Before the Rains is composed by South African composer Mark Kilian.  Known for his ability to blend world music with modern classical and electronica, Mark Kilian has made a name for himself in the film music industry.  Television score credits include King Solomonís Mines, The Animatrix and Jake in Progress.  Kilian has also composed music for the films Tsotsi and Rendition, traveling to the filmsí locales to research and record musical score.  For Before the Rains, Mark Kilian traveled to India, where he worked with top musicians in the country, including legendary Indian percussionist Sivamani.

            Each of the nineteen tracks of the Before the Rains Soundtrack is a perfect blend of Indian cultural music and modern classical sound.  Listening to this soundtrack, there is no mistaking the locale of this film.  Kilian employs traditional Indian musical instruments to create the ethnic sounds throughout the soundtrack.  While I do enjoy some of the music of the culture, I found this soundtrack difficult to enjoy.  Although Kilian captured the nationalistic spirit of the time, it would seem that he somewhat forgot the devastating emotion of the forbidden love affair.  And what about T.K.ís angst and indecision?  That seemed to be missing as well. 

            Culturally speaking, this soundtrack can be enjoyable.  But as it pertains to the movie, the Before the Rains Soundtrack doesnít really paint a musical picture of the events taking place in the film.  For me, the Before the Rains Soundtrack left me parched and bone-dry.


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