Home > Reviews > REIGN OVER ME – Rolfe Kent

REIGN OVER ME – Rolfe Kent

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The serious side of Adam Sandler gets a rare outing in director Mike Binder’s film Reign Over Me. Sandler plays Charlie Fineman, a dentist whose entire family – wife, kids, dog – was wiped out in the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York. Since then, Charlie has shut himself off completely from the outside world, unable to cope with the trauma of his life; that is, until he meets up with old college roommate and former fellow dentist Alan Johnson (Don Cheadle), who is having personal and professional problems of his own. Recognizing Charlie’s grief, Alan attempts to rekindle their friendship and bring Charlie out of his depression – hoping that, in doing so, it will bring him out of his own.

After receiving critical acclaim and Award nominations for Sideways in 2004, I expected big things from Rolfe Kent, but for one reason or another it hasn’t quite happened for him – although his score for Reign Over Me continues to show he is a composer with talent. Balancing the obvious tragedy inherent in the story with the numerous lighter moments the film contains must have been a difficult task for Kent to undertake, but his score works well.

The musical stylistics are similar to those he employed on Sideways – a small ensemble with prominent sax and guitar solos, vaguely jazzy textures, as well as hints of pop and even calypso music – and the eclectic nature sums up the vibrant New York setting of the film, while still making Charlie’s emotional angst very real.

The opening “Learning What Has Happened to Charlie”, as well as “So Broken” and the lovely, delicate “Alan Open’s Up” are amongst the most resonant cues, while “Alan’s Parents” and others have that light, pseudo-Thomas Newman suburban sound which seems to be so popular these days.  It’s not an album which will fly off the shelves or convert thousands of listeners into Rolfe Kent fans, but it achieves its stated aims successfully.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Learning What Has Happened to Charlie (1:44)
  • Alan’s Parents (1:25)
  • Disturbed by Questions (1:00)
  • Can He Come Out? (1:51)
  • Coffee in Grand Central Station (1:43)
  • The Loss of a Father (2:15)
  • Remar’s Scent (1:15)
  • Alan Recognises/Breakfast Alone with the Family (2:09)
  • The Desire to Help (0:55)
  • Taxi Stand-Off (2:51)
  • Evaluation (1:28)
  • There’s Going to be a Hearing/I Hated Kitchen Talk (2:54)
  • Playing Collossus (1:14)
  • So Broken (1:52)
  • New Life (3:29)
  • Alan Opens Up (1:16)
  • Pictures in Court (2:33)
  • Charlie’s Theme (2:13)
  • Remar’s Theme (2:48)
  • Alan and Charlie (2:14)
  • A Lonely Life (2:56)

Running Time: 42 minutes 18 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-33913 (2007)

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