The Official Story DVD Review
PictureIt's a poor transfer. There's not too much dirt, noise or grain for the most part, but it's soft, contrast is poor and there is little to no shadow detail. Exterior scenes are of a higher quality than interior, with the colour and contrast levels being much superior. The interior scenes have natural looking colours but blacks are not well realised. In some dark scenes the picture really deteriorates with compression artefacts a go-go, particularly in the middle of the film. Black practically turns green in one scene in a church, and the following dark scenes are just as bad. It's almost as if you're looking at a colour negative at times. I thought I'd seen the last of that carry on with VHS. Shockingly bad! It calms down again towards the end, so all is not lost. It would have been a good transfer of a mid eighties low budget film had the interior scenes have been as good as the exterior. Alas it's not.
SoundIt's an average quality mono presentation, with a dialogue driven soundtrack, a simple musical score and no real effects. No major problems but it is a little subdued, so you find yourself turning the volume up.
VerdictIt's a well told story with exceptional acting that is undoubtedly thought provoking. Unlike the film, the disc is poor with a feeble transfer and a very cheap presentation. Even the subtitles are burnt in. The menu is a still picture with only two options: play and chapters. The lack of extras is particularly galling as the film's serious subject matter and history deserves some attention. The Military dictatorship ended in 1983, the same year the film began shooting but it was cancelled due to death threats received by the production team. The remainder of the film was shot in secret and completed and released in 1985. Their efforts were rewarded with an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. A documentary or an interview or just a commentary could have been fascinating. It is a good film, but this is not a Region 2 release that can be wholeheartedly recommended.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £15.99
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