Director Mike Nichols has always made films that were either terrific (The
Graduate) or horrible(Wolf), and seldom in-between. “REGARDING HENRY” is
the exception. While it never fully delivers on the potential of its story,
there are some moving performances, and the script is earnest in its message,
never making the audience feel patronized. It’s not a masterpiece,
but it makes for worthwhile viewing, and Harrison Ford gives one of those rare
performances, in the league of “WITNESS”, that truly offers something to savor.
Ford plays a lawyer, unaccustomed to caring about the parties he’s up against and probably the best thing his law firm has going for it. He also appears to have the storybook family. However, all things must change, and they change drastically after he’s shot during a robbery, resulting in a brain injury, that leaves him,…well, more simple but decent. There’s a great story at work here, and it’s maddening that it isn’t allowed to really come to fruition. Even the title, “REGARDING HENRY”, brilliantly implies the connotation of a business letter “referring” or “regarding someone”, whereas the film asks the audience to question how we view those around us and prioritize, compartmentalize things, in the wrong manner.
PARAMOUNT has preserved the film’s 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9
enhancement. While colors often look solid, the image has a soft look that
comes and goes throughout the film. There’s never terrific detail
present in the film. Contrast is decent, but darker scenes lack the superior definition so often found in PARAMOUNT dvd releases.
PARAMOUNT has presented a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, but it’s very restrained, with surrounds delegated mostly for the score. There is some limited separation for the front soundstage. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.