People Like Us

Composed By: A. R. Rahman

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Inspired by true events, People Like Us stars Chris Pine as fast-talking salesman Sam is going through a rough period in his life.  One of his biggest ventures has just tanked on the same day as his father dies, forcing him to return home at the worst possible time to put his father’s things in order.  In the process, Sam discovers that his father had a whole other life he never knew about, including a daughter (Elizabeth Banks) Sam has never met.  Interested in meeting his sister in spite of himself, Sam finds a way to have a relationship with her without revealing the truth about their shared bloodline.  As his relationship with Frankie grows, Sam begins to re-examine his motives regarding meeting his sister and the choices he has made in his life.

            People Like Us features songs by Michael “Nomad” Ripoll and Liz Phair and a musical score by A. R. Rahman.  Dubbed the “Mozart of Madras” by Time Magazine, A. R. Rahman is a two time Academy Award-winning composer who has helped redefine contemporary Indian composition.  Having composed musical scores for over a hundred films in over half a dozen languages, Rahman is probably best known for his award-winning musical score of Slumdog Millionaire.

            The score composed for People Like Us is very theme oriented, focusing on the emotions of the characters as they progress through the film.  Featuring the usual orchestral instruments such as celli, violas, violins, flutes, horns and clarinets, the music is enhanced by appearances by keyboards, harmonicas, accordions and guitars, offering up a more modern contemporary musical score.  The score begins on an upbeat note until things start spiraling out of control and becoming more difficult for Sam.  There are moments in which the score is light and fun mixed with some serious, and at times, slightly somber tones. 

            The whole score is wrapped up nicely with a song created by A. R. Rahman and Liz Phair called Dotted Line.  Performed by Liz Phair, the song sums up the entire film in just a few stanzas, discussing the growth and newfound responsibility of the main character, all brought about by a sister he only just met.  I could actually picture this song playing at the end of the film as the ending slides into the roll of the credits. 

            The People Like Us Soundtrack features a well-composed musical score defining the feelings behind the actions of the movie’s characters, and a terrific song at the end of the album that wraps up the whole package rather nicely.  The album is well-worth the price tag for fans of the film and film music aficionados everywhere.


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