(2008/Criterion Collection Blu-ray)
B Sound: B Extras: B Film: B
a film so interesting gets past everyone that it deserves a serious second look
and rediscovery by a wider audience that would be impressed by it. This especially happens to foreign films,
even when they are smart thrillers like Gotz Spielmann’s Revanche (2008), which crosses a suspenseful thriller narrative
with an interesting character study of the characters involved.
less tourist-friendly side of Vienna, Alex (Johannes Krisch) is an ex-con who
works in a brothel and finds himself falling for Tamara (Irina Potapenko), a
“lady of the night” from the Ukraine who is as stuck there as he is if not more
so. They get to know each other and then
plan to run off to what they hope will be freedom and opportunity for a better
life. However, they cross paths with a
couple and when murder is involved along with the husband (Andreas Lust) being
a police officer, they find a new kind of trap instead leaving them with a
whole new set of problems.
heard of this film and some good things about it, but seeing is believing and
will involve those who are not used to foreign language films (unless they
speak German) in unexpected ways.
Spielmann’s knack for telling the story visually is rich and involving,
plus his screenplay is very well thought out and well-rounded in a way that
never misses any opportunities. He
decides to stay within certain perimeters to make the story complete, but I
liked that and it keeps the realism grounded while flushing out the
characters. Except for seeing a few
things here before, he is trying to do something original here and succeeds
more than expected. If you have not see Revanche, you should as soon as
possible. No wonder it was Oscar
nominated for Best Foreign Film.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is often terrific, though a few shots
can look soft or grainy, there are more than enough solid shots here that you
would only get in the Blu-ray format or from a Criterion Blu-ray. Director of Photography Martin Gschlacht does
some great work here, bringing you as intimately into the narrative visually as
the screenplay with interesting blocking choices and a good look & feel
that deliver. The DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is interesting in that it has its moments of silence,
then has moments it kicks in and uses the surrounds well. All the time, it is a warm, smooth mix with
character that also furthers the effectiveness of the film.
include a booklet with tech information, illustrations and Armand White essay,
new video interview with Spielmann, half-hour making of featurette, U.S. theatrical trailer and Spielmann’s short
film Foreign Land (Fremdland).
- Nicholas Sheffo