Birdcatcher (The)
R2 - United Kingdom - Signature Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (30th September 2019).
The Film

Inspired by harrowing true events. This gripping war thriller uncovers a hidden slice of history that is equally shocking as it is inspiring. Norway, 1942. On her attempt to flee Nazi persecution, Esther, a Jewish 14 year old girl, finds herself alone, on an occupied farm forced to conceal her identity; leading to a series of choices and consequences which shift the paths of those around her. From the executive producers of Churchill and Peterloo and featuring the star of Inglorious Basterds August Diehl.

Video

A digitally shot modern production gets an adequate standard definition release from Signature Entertainment. The colour palette is very muted with an overall desaturated look deliberately designed to match the films grim story and tone.

Black levels are very good with some shadow detail that's par for the course for DVD, although as is also usual for standard definition there is some crush in darker areas. I saw no signs of digital tinkering and obviously a new film like this digitally shot has no damage.

Contrast is very supportive and no blown out highlights; detail manages to come through the softness but there's little or no grain. Encoding seems decent.

PAL / 2.40:1 / 96:29

Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles: None

Both tracks are obviously lossy, but both export a certain amount of depth and range, particularly the 5.1. Dialogue is always clear, front and centre with the score relegated to the four corners. Surrounds kick in during moments of action; the train journey is a particular standout. Subtitles are only provided for the non-English dialogue.

Sadly, hard of hearing viewers are not catered for; no subtitles.

Extras

Startup Trailers:
- The Peanut Butter Falcon (2:28)
- The Emperor of Paris (1:36)


Nothing worth noting; disappointing.

Packaging

Standard single disc DVD case with a card slipcover.

Overall

We have decent standard definition image and lossy Dolby Digital sound; adequate for the casual purchaser but buffs will want a Blu-ray and some substantial, contextual extras. The film isn't very dynamic visually and has that digitally shot, soft look with desaturated colour to let the viewer know that they're watching a serious story.

The Film: B Video: B Audio: B Extras: E Overall: C

 


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