Although it didn't win the Oscar for Best Foreign film in 2009, that it was nominated for, "REVANCHE," now available on blu-ray from CRITERION, is an outstanding film, and certain to have viewers thinking about it long after it's ended. Like all "great" films, "REVANCHE" demonstrates that virtually any character from any station in life can teach much about the human condition. The contrasting social class of individuals in Renoir's "LE GRANDE ILLUSION" demonstrated this in the '30s, and "REVANCHE" demonstrates it again for those of the past decade. Whether the focus is on a cop, or ex-con, "REVANCHE" cuts deep into the psyche of the individuals, exploring their hopes, pains, and redemptive qualities, in provocative, poignant fashion.
Alex, an ex-con, is in love with Tamara, a prostitute from the Ukraine, who performs her job at the brothel he works at as a bouncer. Both have aspirations for a better life. For Alex, it's to get enough cash to open a club in Ibiza. For Tamara, it's to get the money she needs to pay a debt and start anew. Pressure, love and the demand for something more for their lives than what they are caught up in, propel Alex to plan a bank robbery as a means to an end. He brings Tamara along as a getaway driver, and the plan does seem pretty simple, in fact, almost too simple. Of course, a random, unplanned, unpredictable action by someone passing by, leads to a chain of events with horrible circumstances.
And, "REVANCHE" ends up becoming one of those rare films, wherein even the most hard-lined, thick-skinned viewer, can't help but empathize with the suffering of "all" that are involved. The biblical passage about "rain falling on the righteous as well as the wicked," applies here in "REVANCHE," only there aren't really any "wicked" characters, just ones that are lost. It's a terrific film and CRITERION offers a blu-ray transfer, giving it even more reason to be seen.
CRITERION has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this AVC MPEG-4 1080p blu-ray. The image is terrific in every scene. While the exterior shots offer the best resolution, colors, detail and contrast are reference quality in every instance. Inky blacks maintain impressive detail from being swallowed up by shadow. No artifacts anywhere to be found. A stunning transfer!
CRITERION has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The original German/Russian mix is presented with flawless fidelity. While the mix offers a completely natural environment, this is not an aggressive mix by any means! The focus is front center channel, but minor discrete effects are employed with subtlety that helps maintain the fragile atmosphere of the film's narrative. Music is completely absent, but never missed, speaking volumes about the film's power.
The Director, Gotz Spielmann, is featured in a half-hour interview(1080p)
A half-hour documentary, "THE MAKING OF REVANCHE," offers cast and crew interviews, in German, with English Subtitles(1080i)
"FOREIGN LAND," is a 45 minute short film, marking Spielmann's debut as a director. It's well worth viewing. German with English Subtitles. (1080i)
A trailer for "REVANCHE" is also offerred(1080p)