Film scores

Soundtrack review: The travelator (Aleksandar Randjelovic -2013)

“The travellator” is as dark and unstable as the story suggests. The duality in the music mirrors the undercover angle and I am very satisfied with this listening experience.

“The Travelator: is a 2014 Serbian action film directed by Dusan Milic and starring Nikola Rakocevic, Boris Isakovic and Khetanya Henderson. SLAV (18), an eager “first person” shooter gamer from disadvantaged social background, is hired as the best among his friends, to be a real-life killer for the Serbian mob. A war refugee born in Slovenia, thus in a rare position not needing a valuable American visa, he accepts the latest assignment trip to Las Vegas to gun down a criminal insider under Serbian state witness protection program. Slav enters the neon city’s high style living, spots and tails the target and his two official bodyguards, eyeing their habits and behavior. The closer he is, the deeper he penetrates into the corruption and arrogance of the criminal classes of the Serbian society. The score is composed by Aleksandar Randjelovic.

My exposure to Serbian film and film music comes from my earliest contact with this world and is related to Emir Kusturica and Goran Bregovic. It’s interesting to visit a different kind of movie and music from this area. The beginning is tense and full of questions. The cello motifs get to me right away and makes me warm up to the score right from the opening cue “The train”.

I like how the composer plays with the sound. I’ve heard quite a few thriller scores lately which were sort of generic but here I get interesting variations. “Suicide” sounds differently than I would have expected, more mysterious and less final but it love it. The music seems to tremble, either from rage or because it’s about to start crying but I hear that very clearly. This cue moves me. The way the cello is used and the way it breaks the electronic feel of the cues it appears on.

I also love how some cues seem normal and all of a sudden they take a wonderful turn into atmospheric land. “Pool” didn’t tell me much until about halfway when it just hit my sweet spot. Mystery meets sadness with a dash of melancholy… one of the cocktails I don’t mind getting dizzy on. I snap out of it when action moments like “Chase me” come along but I don’t mind. The music is good and I’m enjoying this score. The composer keeps throwing surprises at me and breaking the rhythm of the music. The back and force between cold electronic and warm ambient works.

“The travellator” is as dark and unstable as the story suggests. The duality in the music mirrors the undercover angle and I am very satisfied with this listening experience.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 19 / 35

Album excellence: 53%

Highlights:

The train

Suicide

Chase Me

Prayer Song

The Last Walk Through Vegas

Slide

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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