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The Lover 4K UHD Review

“The Lover” lacks depth.

Based on the novel by Marguerite Duras, 1992’s “The Lover” is a story set in French Colonial Indochina. The story revolves around 2 nameless characters- a poor teenage French girl (played by Jane March) who has an unstable home life and a jobless, rich, older Chinese man (Tony Leung). The 2 meet on board a ferry as the girl is off to an all girls boarding school. The Chinese man approaches her and becomes infatuated with her. The two eventually develop a sexual relationship although one that is not destined to last. The man is arranged to be married while the girl is set to return to France.

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, “The Lover” is a “Lolita” esque erotic drama that will undoubtedly divide audiences. Some viewers may find the sex heavy film to be utterly distasteful as Tony Leung’s character comes across as predatory in spots. Other viewers may find the story to be a sensual drama that tackles subjects about love, innocence, racism, and wealth in unique fashions. Or you may find yourself in the middle like myself. While the movie is thematically rich, the dramatic elements leave much to be desired. The two nameless characters often feel very surface level to a frustrating degree. One might argue they feel a bit too detached. Additionally, the middle act is in need of something more substantial especially with the end being so abrupt. 

One thing is for certain, the movie looks divine thanks to the cinematography by Robert Fraisse. Whether the scenes are taking place in the bedroom or outside in the picturesque Saigon, the film is nothing if not a visual treat.

The characters may be underdeveloped, but Tony Leung and Jane March give quality performances here. March in particular gives an amazing debut performance. This is a bold role to have as an acting debut and she didn’t seem remotely phased by the challenging part. Leung is consistent as per usual.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p With Dolby Vision and HDR10. How does it look? A pristine transfer in which the Vietnam exteriors shine bright.

Audio Tracks: English and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA and German PCM 2.0. How do they sound? All audio tracks are satisfactory.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* A booklet with photos and written material by Peter Osteried.
* Theatrical and instrumental trailers for “The Lover” and trailers for “Infidelity,” “The Concubine” and “Dream Factory.”
* 9 minutes of unreleased scenes
* 3 picture galleries- On Set, Filming Locations and Marguerite Duras and Jane March.
* An interview with Marguerite Duras and Jean-Jacques Annaud.
* An archival 53 minute making-of documentary.

January 25, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , ,

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