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Bel Canto Blu-ray Review

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“Bel Canto” is a powerful drama.

Based on the novel by Ann Patchett (which is inspired by true events), “Bel Canto” tells the story of an event in South America that goes horribly wrong. What was meant to be a private party attended by politicians, businessmen, millionaires, and an opera singer turns into a hostage situation when a group of guerilla rebels take everyone at the party hostage with the hopes of having their comrades released from prison. Tensions and dangers are high at first but as the situation lingers on a bond begins to form amongst everyone. Will the situation come to a peaceful end or was it doomed from the start?

“Bel Canto” was not what I expected in the best way possible. It’s a deeply emotional slow burn character drama about the universal power of music, the horrors of violence, and finding human connections in the most unlikely of scenarios. Some viewers may be put off by the slow pace and the fact that much of the movie is a waiting game so to speak, but it’s clearly intentionally done on the part of writer/director Paul Weitz and co-writer Anthony Weintraub so that viewers can get to know these characters. If you didn’t spend time with these characters and see them bond, the movie (and especially the ending) wouldn’t have been remotely effective.

As compelling of a drama as it is, it’s the cast that really sells it. Julianne Moore is Julianne Moore. She’s always reliable and she makes a believable opera singer! The always underrated Ken Watanabe gives one of his finest roles since his award worthy turn in “The Last Samurai.” His chemistry with Moore is especially impressive. The real scene stealers, however, are Maria Mercedes Coroy as Carmen and Ryo Kase as Gem. I really bought into their characters and their romance.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? Since this was put out by a smaller label, the transfer isn’t up to usual studio standards. With that said, it’s still a solid hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: 5.1 Surround. How does it sound? A decent track but one that lacks punch.

Extras:

* Screen Media Films trailers.
* “About The Characters”- A short featurette about the film’s characters that contains interviews with the cast and crew.
* “About The History”- A featurette about how the project came about and what it is about.

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November 23, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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