A Hologram for the King

Musical Score By: Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Based on the novel written by Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King is a dramedy starring Tom Hanks as Alan Clay, a washed-up American salesman.  Depressed after losing his house and getting a divorce during the recession, he travels to Saudi Arabia hoping to sell a holographic teleconferencing system to an upcoming development called the King’s Metropolic of Economy and Trade.  Confused by the local customs and hindered by bureaucracy, he gets help finding solid ground from a taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful doctor (Sarita Choudhury).

The musical score of A Hologram for the King was created by the composing team of Johnny Klimek and Tom Tykwer.  German film director, producer and composer Tom Tykwer is best known for directing such thrillers as Run Lola Run, Heaven and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.  Tykwer works as a musical composer on most of the films he directs.  Australian Johnny Klimek is a fourth generation film composer who has teamed up with Tom Tykwer on a number of projects, including Run Lola Run, Perfume, The International and Cloud Atlas.  He has also created musical scores for Wolf Creek 2, The Darkness, Sense8, The Newsroom and Mind Games.

The music of A Hologram for the King features guitars, strings and exotic instruments, used to define the locale of the film.  The score makes for a beautiful listen.  It’s not exactly uplifting, but there is really no sign of darkness or sadness to be found in the score, which is actually surprising, given the main character’s depression and dilemma.  I believe that the score was created in such a way as to reflect the positive effects the people he meets in Saudi Arabia are having on Alan Clay’s psyche.

I found the soundtrack of A Hologram for the King to be a short but beautiful listen.  The exotic sound mixed with acoustic guitar and strings captivates the listener.  There are only ten tracks – eleven if you count the bonus track, Traveler – but they made a definite impression on me.  So much so that I listened to the soundtrack two more times before writing this review.  Definitely worth taking a listen to.


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