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Soundtrack review: Parallel (Gergo Elekes – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Parallel (Gergo Elekes – 2018)

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“Parallel” is a 2018 Hungarian sci-fi short film directed by Gergo Elekes. A young man finds his missing father’s car that appears to be a tool to traveling through alternate universes. I have seen it and since I am a huge fan of the TV show “Slider” that aired some 25 years ago it worked for me; the plot and construction reminded me of that show, of the journeys the characters took and the dilemmas they faced. I’ve been a fan of Gergo Elekes’ music every since I heard his magnificent “Perihelion” score a few years ago and now it’s the first time he’s also directed a movie for which he wrote the score.

If usually Gergo’s music is moody and reflective, poignant in a way that makes me think of 90’s Nine Inch Nails, “Parallel” is a different affair; the almost dystopian feel of the movie and the various desolate situations of loss in which the characters find themselves strip the music of any warmth. The reflective electronic tone is still there but now it’s metallic, cold. As I was watching the movie I was waiting for that ambient emotion I always get from a Gergo Elekes score but I had to admit to myself that the score he wrote fit the movie perfectly. The rhythmic pace, the pulses, they created a palpable tension that worked very well in contexts. Still the composer couldn’t leave the score to be just cold and desolate and there are pieces like “Dark memories” and “I’m here” which give me the ambient emotional fix I needed.

After sampling these two sounds, Gergo Elekes mixes them together in “Coordinates” and “The car” and the effect is entertaining. I love electronic music, I love ambient music so I am right at home listening to a score like this outside the context of the movie as well. Melodies mix with rhythmic pulses and I find myself nodding my head as the cues play. It must be a fun exercise for a composer to get to direct the movie as well or, actually, for a director to write the music for the respective film. In this case the score evokes and expresses the doubts and discomfort in the movie while also providing the right musical texture for a dystopian sci-fi flick.

Over the past few years, in his short film niche, Gergo Elekes has developed his own sound, and gotten very good at it. If I look at today’s film music world and at a lot of the scores that come out, I am sure if Gergo got bigger projects as well he would do a great job and make at least a few film music fans get closer to the electronic genre; he always brings an extra something, the right touch of emotion, a little extra depth that goes a long way. His compositions are poignant and carefully written and always leave a mark. Count me as a fan.

Cue rating: 81 / 100

Highlights:
Dark Memories
I’m Here
It’s Not Her
You’ll Know When You’re Needed
Raindrops
Take Care
Mate! – End Credits

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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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