Musical Score By: Mark Kilian

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the psychological thriller, Repentance, Anthony Mackie is Tommy Carter, a who has reinvented himself as a therapist and spiritual advisor after a drunken accident almost took his life.  A successful book release attracts the attention of Angel Sanchez (Forest Whitaker) a man troubled by the untimely death of his mother.  Taking Angel on as a personal client in the hopes of helping his brother Ben (Mike Epps), Tommy soon learns that there is more to Angel's personal issues than meets the eye.  And when he uncovers the truth about Angel, he discovers that he has put himself and everyone he cares for in danger.

                The musical score of Repentance was created by South African composer Mark Kilian.  Known for his dramatic musical scores featuring ethnic elements intertwined with traditional orchestral score, Kilian has become one of my favorite composers to listen to.  Some of Mark Kilian's scoring credits include Tsotsi, Rendition, Bless Me, Ultima, Trust Me, Pitch Perfect, Seal Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines, Killer Women and Daybreak

                As I listened to the musical score of Repentance, I noticed a difference in tone in this score than others I had heard from this composer.  There was more of an electronic element present here than previous Mark Kilian scores I had listened to.  I had no idea what the film was about prior to listening to the score, but was immediately taken by a sense of some kind of paranormal element.  I believed that perhaps the title of the album came from some sort of anguish suffered by one of the main characters - perhaps the individual was haunted by his own ghosts.  I had no idea that Angel would actually be the one suffering from this malady - haunted by images of his long dead mother.

                As always, Mark Kilian provides an incredibly dramatic score for this film, using strings and piano to provide a hauntingly sad theme, representing Angel's sad plight.  But there are moments in which electronic music provides a much more ominous and horror-like quality to the score.  Kilian explains: "What the filmmakers wanted was that the duality of the main character be a main theme in the score.  We wanted to pull you in to Forest Whitaker's character, Angel, and to feel sympathy for him before the character takes a turn into a darker and creepier rendition...The music is purposefully almost too warm and light in the beginning, perhaps even over sentimental.  Then the music switches gear dramatically bordering on horror, but of a more psychological nature. So when the change comes it is more shocking and visceral for the audience."

                The Repentance Soundtrack definitely expresses Angel's dual natures perfectly.  As an accompaniment to the visuals of the film, the music adds to the audience's sense of a desperation felt by a man who is spiraling out of control, while still allowing us to sympathize with his plight.  As a stand alone album, the music found on the soundtrack will tell a story of danger and desperation and a deep and profound sadness.  I loved what Mark Kilian did with this score, weaving traditional instruments in with the electronic to allow us to get the whole picture of the man that Angel is and can be.  Mark Kilian never disappoints and his score for Repentance is definitely a must listen to for any fan of well-thought-out musical composition.


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