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DVD Review: THE WARRIOR

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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE WARRIOR

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 87 minutes, feature audio commentary, making of featurette, 64 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary

STUDIO: Miramax

RELEASE DATE: 5-2-2006

THE WARRIOR is poetry with very few words. It's all in the pictures, the faces, and the things the characters do. An enforcer is overcome by guilt and decides not to work for the local warlord in India. The lord doesn't like that and orders his warriors to bring back the enforcer's head. Instead they bring back the ex-enforcer's son and a head of someone who isn't the enforcer. What follows would lead to a revenge flick in most cases, but instead the warrior travels on a journey to find spiritual enlightenment and a boy (who is a thief) joins him as a traveling companion. The beautiful landscapes of India are caught in this movie. THE WARRIOR isn't a dialogue heavy movie. The scenery, the expression in the faces, and the journey speak for the film as does the excellent score by Dario Naranelli. Hats off to director Asif Kapadia for a stunning feature debut that captures the same beauty seen in films such as HERO and HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS.

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Miramax is still doing something right. The transfer is nice. Image detail is good.

AUDIO: Hindi 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, Spanish

The audio is beautiful. The sounds of the film's world suck you in along with Dario's score.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The 64 minutes of deleted scenes (with optional director commentary) is a little bit of overkill. He could have taken the time to showcase the scenes that were cut and not also include alternate takes and edits of many scenes that features new scenes along the way. He cut most stuff due to it not fitting the film and using some of the close-ups for other scenes. His editor disagreed with him once and wanted one of the cut scenes left in because it showed another side of the warrior. One scene the director doesn't even remember why he cut it. The director commentary for the deleted scenes and the feature ae in English. The feature audio commentary does give a few of the nuts and bolts that went into filming THE WARRIOR in India including some of the problems he had, the cheats he had to use, and the decisions he had to make as a first time director of a feature film. The commentary for the film is better than the commentary for the deleted scenes which lead to gaps of silence.

THE MAKING OF THE WARRIOR is an interesting documentary on the production of the film, but it is too long. They could have edited down the behind-the-scenes camera footage to make this one flow better. They faced the extremes of the weather, filmed in a cursed fort, and had to build a village from scratch in seven days when a villager said he would kill himself if they filmed in the village they picked. Interviews with the cast and crew are featured throughout including an actual blind woman who played the blind woman. Like with the deleted scenes, I wish they included chapter breaks.

FINAL ANALYSIS: THE WARRIOR is a visual journey that plays like poetry. The DVD has some good extras, but a little editing could have made the deleted scenes and making of documentary even better.

this review is (c)5-7-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com