A Separation (2011) | Blu-ray Review

Posted on 19 August 2012 by thisguyoverhere

A Separation (2011) Blu-ray

Rating:
Video: 1/2
Audio: 1/2
Extras: 1/2
Value: 1/2

Review:

Video: 1/2
A Separation isn’t a film that flaunts flamboyancy. Its colors are subdued to reflect a more realistic tone. The camerawork is handheld; long takes are used. Because of this, the inherent film grain retained plays to the transfer’s benefit. Textures often look great, and hardly ever distracting. The picture quality feels like its very loyal to the content, but it’s not without its problems. The first scene, for instance, seems to be riddled with specs and the occasional halo around the actors. This is a problem that creeps up throughout, but it’s then juxtaposed to shots with beautiful clarity. Luckily, the content of the film is so immersive that picture definition isn’t of great concern.

Presented in 1.85:1 original aspect ratio.

Audio: 1/2
Much like its muted picture counterpart, the soundtrack is greatly understated. The film is scoreless, and most of the audio seems to be captured on set. The mix is minimal, which is probably why Sony only gives this a DTS-HD 3.0 transfer. But no worries, what matters most is the clarity of dialogue, and each word of every argument comes through loud and clear. There is no use for surround speakers, and most of the film lives in the mid-to-front speakers. It’s not out to impress anyone, but it is faithful to the director’s intentions, and that’s all we can ask for.

English DTS-HD Master Audio 3.0
French DTS-HD Master Audio 3.0

Extras: 1/2
We’re given a generous audio commentary (rare for foreign films) with the director, as well as an in-depth Q&A session and short interview with Asghar Farhadi. While there aren’t many features here, Farhadi provides great insight into his work that make these features well worth the watch.

Audio Commentary
Director Asghar Farhadi discusses his film without forcing an interpretation upon us. He goes through the typical rundown of performances, locations, and whatnot, but also gives insight into the motifs and relates them to his entire body of work. (Commentary in Farsi with subtitles — meaning, yes, you do have to read the commentary).

An Evening With Asghar Farhadi (HD, 30 min.)
A Q&A that is moderated and opened up to a viewing audience that pose questions to the director.

Birth of a Director (HD, 8 min.)
A quick interview as the director discusses how he became a director.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 3 min.)

Value: 
One of the most powerful films of 2011, A Separation comes to Blu-ray with dignity. It’s not out to impress anyone, but rather act as a discussion piece. The audio and picture quality are true to the film’s intentions, but are sure to draw some complaints from few high def enthusiasts. However, with a great audio commentary, and insightful Q&A, this disc is certainly worth the purchase — for the right price — for fans of international cinema.

Will There Be A Double Dip?
While there is room for improvement, the chances are unlikely.

Product provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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