The Iceman

Composed By: Haim Mazar

Distributed by: Relativity Music Group

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In 1986, the police arrested devoted husband and father Richard Kuklinski, shocking his friends and neighbors and, especially, his family.  For what the people closest to Richard didn't know was that he was a contract killer who was responsible for murdering over one hundred men.  Based on a true story, the movie The Iceman stars Michael Shannon as Kuklinski and follows his early days in the mob until his arrest on December 17, 1986.

                The musical score of The Iceman was created by Haim Mazar.  Born in the United States and raised in Israel, Mazar discovered music at the age of five.  He received extensive training in classical piano at the Givataim music conservatory.  He continued his musical education at Katzanelson high school music program and the Rimon School of Music while traveling as keyboardist and musical director with Israel's top artists.  He returned to the United States to continue his education at the Berklee College of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film Scoring.  He began composing music for television and movie shorts in 2008.  The Iceman is Mazar's first go at composing for a full-length feature film.

                In his approach to creating the musical score of this film, Haim Mazar realized that he would have to focus on both sides of Richard Kuklinski - the family man and the cold-blooded killer for hire.  As Mazar stated, "On one hand there was the grim, dirty, dangerous crime life: musically represented by a thick hybrid of pulsating electronics and orchestral effects that could burst and become violent at any moment. On the other hand the score needed to reflect his family life, Ariel [Vromen, director/co-writer] wanted to play with mostly strings and piano." 

                Two scenes in particular would eventually set the tone of the film: "The first was the scene when Richard (Michael Shannon) and Deborah (Winona Ryder) have their first date, which was great for musically setting the family tone and the tone of their relationship. I also established a theme that was later used as their relationship progressed throughout the years. The second scene I scored was the scene when Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta) threatens Richard in the car outside of his home. Energy-wise that scene felt very tense, and I figured that if I could get the right tone for that scene, it would help me set the tone for the rest of the mob scenes."

                The music of The Iceman features a great deal of dark synths mixed with strings.  The main theme of the soundtrack album has a note of sadness to it, perhaps for the family who would never realize what Richard was all about until the moment of his arrest.  The final song, No Looking Back by Crash Kings, is quite appropriate for this film with its dark nature and the policy that Kuklinski followed until his incarceration - basically put, what is done is done and there is no looking back.

                The Iceman Soundtrack is not exactly an album one would purchase without ever having seen the film.  That being said, once one has seen the film, they will understand just how perfectly Haim Mazar composed the music to match the duality of the family man/murderer.  This is a must-listen for all those interested in film composition.


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