“His score to The Infiltrator is a big part of the storytelling of the characters and the vibe he created in capturing the sound and feel of the 1980s while putting his own point of view and style in the writing puts me right in the world of the film.” – Actor John Leguizamo
Music composer Chris Hajian – born and raised in Queens, New York with a musical career beginning at age five – reteams with director Brad Furman (The Take) for The Infiltrator musical score released by Lakeshore Records. (I was not able to hear this music in context while watching the Broad Green Pictures film The Infiltrator.)
On this score, Hajian and his musicians keep their original music at a largely low volume close to the film’s emotional themes with heartfelt and nostalgic movements by mainly featuring keyboards and string instruments. He also collaborates with Tristan Clopet, a talented musician with a funk-infused style. These two combine forces on the volatile “The Raid” as well as “Calm Before the Storm”. “The Raid” also incorporates some unique sounds that almost sound like a classic washboard band in the background about one minute into the three minutes and 43-second piece.
Other standouts are the predictably tense “I’m Being Followed”, the appropriately dramatic “I’m Going to Introduce You to Don Pablo”, “The Stars Are Aligning” and the amazing “Santeria”, which is also the longest piece in this score at about four minutes and 38 seconds.
This score has great electronic sounds as full of pulses and patterns as the film, set in the 1980s. It gets big points for originality and might leave some listeners yearning for more since over two-thirds of the tracks are under two minutes.
This overall 53-minute release begins with the title tune that has a weighty tone full of layers that echo the film’s plot. An effective “Close Call” follows, then Hajian hits listeners with reverberating keyboards on “Picking Up the Informant”.
“Chase the Money” keeps the tone, then “The Stakeout” gets things very quiet, which becomes a common occurrence, so prep your sound system. This score flows well and does not jolt or have many quick volume rises.
“Don’t F— This Up” ebbs like quiet thunder, while “So Who Is She?” intrigues with memorable keyboard movements. “Surviving the Hit” provides gripping emotion and a noticeable rise in volume. “Gloria’s Plea” has nice movements that even seem delayed thanks to some clever editing.
“The Wedding” features great keyboards and strings and ends too soon, while “I’m Going to Miss Bob Musella” features some impressive acoustic guitar at the end, which becomes a great combo with the keyboards.
Overall, Hajian really refines his dramatic skills after considerable work in family movie scores and television work.
Based on a true story, The Infiltrator features federal agent Robert “Bob” Mazur, played by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad TV series, Godzilla) who goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar’s drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1986 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo) and Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger), a rookie agent posing as his fiancé, Mazur befriends Escobar’s top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt).
Navigating a vicious criminal network in which the slightest slip-up could cost him his life, Mazur risks it all building a case that leads to indictments of more than 100 drug lords and the corrupt bankers who cleaned their dirty money, along with the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world.
The 12-song original soundtrack is also available from Lakeshore Records and features songs by Leonard Cohen, Curtis Mayfield, Nu Shooz, Rush, Violent Femmes, and The Who.