Ramin Kousha

" Sorkhpoost is a nice, but rather forgettable effort. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

Sorkhpoost (The Warden) is a 2019 Iranian movie, directed by young filmmaker Nima Javidi, his second film after the 2014 Melbourne. The film is set during the regime of the sjah in 1960's and takes place in an almost abandoned, soon to be demolished prison. A warden responsible for the transportation of all prisoners to a new environment, discovers one of the inmates, sentenced to death, is lost in the process and has to find him before time's running out, and the fear of him losing his authoritarian role in the regime. In the manhunt a female social worker joins him, only to prevent him ever finding the prisoner, who she believes is innocent.

The film has a straigtforward narrative, but not without visually adressing the surreal and almost dream-like situation. Ethical and political issues are adressed, but they feel a bit lost in the whole. In that perspective, the score by Iranian- American Ramin Kousha, mostly focuses on a mysterious and tense sound, with a small dramatic undercurrent. Unfortunately, most of the music feels quite generic in its tension building, with standard percussion and string layers, evident in tracks like Light & Darkness, Last Day in Jail, Losing Consciousness. The atmosphere is quite effective and engaging, but there is little striking moments in the entire score. It really is a kind of score that hugely enchances the film experience and hits all the right buttons, regardless if a majority of the musical material is typical kind of anonymous wallpaper. Creatively, they are of a considerable lower musical standard, but it somehow connects on a very basic level.

Navid Hejazi, also a composer and violin player on numerous score, was responsible for the violin solos and string arrangements on Sorkhpoost. Even though, his arrangements and solo violins are being underused as dramatic tools, they are vital to give the work a personal touch, most evident in the lucious end cue ''Free Him''.

Ramin Kousha is a composer, born in Iran, moved to the United States at the age of 18 and has since composed music to American shorts and full feature films, while staying in contact with young Iranian makers scoring their films and miniseries. Sorkhpoost is a nice, but rather forgettable effort. I cannot really provide a well-informed opinion of Kousha as a composer, based on five scores that I have heard.

Track Listing
1. Last Day in Jail 2:32
2. Countdown 2:12
3. Time to Leave This Place 0:38
4. Ultimatum 1:19
5. Pieces from the Whole 3:37
6. Looking Everywhere for Him 1:18
7. Gas Attack 1:13
8. Aftermath 0:47
9. Losing Consciousness 2:04
10. Dead End 0:59
11. We Know Everything Now 1:01
12. Suspicion 1:23
13. Light & Darkness 1:54
14. Circles 1:16
15. One More Time 1:51
16. Free Him 2:26

Total Album Time: 26:30

(written 27-07-2019)
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(total of 1 votes - average 3/5)

Released by

Plaza Mayor Company (download only release 2019)