The well acclaimed film, “VENGO” has been released on dvd by HOME VISION. Flawed, but powerful, “VENGO” is an unusual film, blending music and dance around a plot dealing with gypsy culture, and its “code of honor” wherein one clan exacts revenge against another for the murder of one of their own, continuing this trend mindlessly, until eventually, the family exists no more. This theme was dealt with much better in Walter Salles’ “BEHIND THE SUN”, but it still provides an interesting subplot and even a few unexpected thrills here.
Overall, however, the plot isn’t as important as the music, at least not in the filmmaker’s mind, and scene after scene appears to have been written for no other reason than to have characters move from one location of dancing to another.
“VENGO” celebrates the music of the gypsy culture brilliantly, demonstrating that it doesn’t have to be danced to in elaborate costumes to be mesmerizing. There is one scene in particular wherein one woman dances in clothes that are anything but stylized! The film pays tribute to Flamenco dancing in a grass roots manner, and even with a so-so story, the magic of the dance works!
HOME VISION has preserved the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. It’s a great looking transfer. While there are some minor artifacts, the colors are solid, and often rich. Detail is excellent, and the contrast is nearly flawless, allowing for great definition in darker scenes.
HOME VISION has also presented the original Spanish version in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, with subtitles. There is some minor separation for the front soundstage, but most effects are reserved for music to sweep over the audience, which it does very well.
A short film, “LOSE ALMENDROS-PLAZA NUEVA” offers a look at the film’s music and dance, with an unusual, effective setting, a bus! This is a must see!