Love
R4 - Australia - Accent
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak and Chrisana Love (14th September 2007).
The Film

Chance or destiny? It's all a familiar (if not overused at this point) basis for a plot line. "Love" takes a group of displaced characters from around the world and puts them in each others paths in New York City. Most of them low-level low lives and mostly coming from war torn countries, it seems a little odd to be hearing this in English.
With a non linear narrative and multiple protagonists/perspectives, the structure also unfortunately swamps the story a little
We start with "Uncle Vanya" (Sergej Trifunovic) a hit man convinced to do the 'ol "one last job". On said job (which of course, all goes horribly wrong) he takes a hostage... who happens to be his ex-wife...who is engaged to (guess what?) a cop. Throw in an older criminal with a dying wife and a younger one who deplores his line of work, and only continues in order to stay in the U.S for his corrupt and dishonest girlfriend (love really is blind, it would seem) and...well you should get the idea.
Although digital features are looking better and better these days, and there is a smattering of very touching moments in "Love", it fails to really connect. The performances are all woefully average, The unnecessary narration feels like a tacked on decision made at the last moment in the edit suite, when they realised their back story didn't quite come across. What was initially a good premise about displaced and disaffected people in a cold new urban environment doesn't really deliver. That said, the focus on the morally grey area all the characters have almost had no choice in being embroiled to is interesting. If the focus had been more on the characters than the plot it would have made for a much more affecting film.
As a fan of cinematic violence, the shoot out in a run down church should appeal to me. However all the crazy angles didn't make this exciting.
The soundtrack also seemed a bit incongruous. Why was John Carpenter being evoked? One of the films better moments is a scene in a bar with some more suitable ethnic music which would have fit the film a lot better than the synth stabs.
Ultimately a good idea, some nice moments of characters connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting in a cold urban environment, but it failed to really grab me...

Video

Presented in a widescreen ratio of 1.78:1, this anamorphic transfer presents the digital image (shot on DV) relatively well but includes a few flaws that are generally seen on DV films compressed for DVD release such as some compression artefacts (a little more so than seen on film-to-digital transfers) and a general murkiness to any scenes that are shot in low light or at night. Otherwise the majority of the image is clean and sharp, contrast seems boosted in some interior shots though which can be distracting at times.

Audio

A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is included, the dialogue is clear and distortion free, the track is fairly active for a stereo track but lacks depth and range, this film cold have benefited from a 5.1 track which would have allowed the ambient range to open up and allow for total impressiveness into the film.
This disc does not feature any optional subtitles.

Extras

Accent have only included a series of bonus trailers for:
- "Pusher" which runs for 1 minute 40 seconds.
- "Europa" which runs for 2 minutes 35 seconds.
- "Heavy" which runs for 2 minutes 39 seconds.
- "Lost Things" which runs for 1 minute 56 seconds.
- "Funny Ha Ha" which runs for 2 minutes 33 seconds.
- "Persona Non Grata" which runs for 1 minute 30 seconds.
- "Flight From Death: Quest For Immortality" which runs for 3 minutes 4 seconds.

Overall

The Film: C- Video: B+ Audio: B Extras: F Overall: D+

 


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