Lady, The (Blu-ray) (2011)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 6-Aug-2012

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Biopic Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 132:12 (Case: 159)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Luc Besson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Michelle Yeoh
David Thewlis
Jonathan Raggett
Jonathan Woodhouse
Susan Wooldridge
Benedict Wong
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Eric Serra


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In)
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     I recently reviewed The Iron Lady, the excellent biopic of Margaret Thatcher, one of the most important global political figures of the last century, who also happened to be a woman. Another globally important political figure who continues her struggle today is Aang San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition politician who was put under house arrest in Burma for 15 years between 1989 and 2010 for daring to have different political opinions to the military dictatorship who continue to run Burma, albeit in a softened way. This film, The Lady, is a biopic of Aang San Suu Kyi (played here by Michelle Yeoh) which tells her story from her father's assassination in 1947 up until 2007. She was actually released from house arrest during the filming of this movie.

     Her story is told in a mostly straightforward and linear way, although it does focus on her relationship with her English husband, Michael Aris (David Thewlis who also plays Michael Aris' twin brother Anthony) and her children, which was obviously greatly impacted by her time under house arrest and the Burmese government's regular refusal to allow her family in for visits. Her husband was only allowed to visit her about 5 times during her long incarceration. The film covers the military dictatorship's oppression of the Burmese people, their imprisonment of her political supporters and the international campaigns to try and get her released including her Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Her husband's cancer and early death at the age of 53 is used as a device to bookend the plot and provides an emotional core to the film.

     This film was something that Michelle Yeoh strongly believed in and elicited the help of Luc Besson to get it made. He decided to direct the film himself and has made quite a decent film here. It is perhaps a little too long but it is certainly interesting and the main two actors are both excellent in their roles. It was filmed in Thailand and the UK, but they did do some surreptitious filming in Burma for reference, acting like tourists. There are some beautiful shots of Asian scenery plus some fairly gruesome action scenes which have earned the film an MA15+ rating here in Australia. The quality acting of the leads makes this an emotional and personal story of one woman's long fight against oppression.

    A good film about an interesting subject which is certainly worth seeing.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture is very sharp and clear throughout with good levels of detail. The film begins with a flashback to 1947 which seems to be deliberately grainy. I initially thought this was going to be a pretty average transfer but once the 1947 sequence is over the detail level improves and the grain disappears. Colour is very good. Shadow detail was good but a little murky in some scenes.

     There are no artefacts of note beyond some minor shimmer.

     English subtitles are burned into the picture for Burmese dialogue. There is a subtitle stream available in English for the hearing impaired. They are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good, perfectly suited to the needs of the film.

     This disc contains an English (with significant Burmese) DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack plus an English Audio Descriptive track in Dolby Digital 2.0.

     Dialogue very clear and easy to understand.

     The score by regular Besson collaborator Eric Serra is emotional and dramatic, mostly significantly adding to the film. On one or two occasions it went a little over the top.

     The surround speakers are used mostly for music and atmosphere plus some shots in the occasional action scenes.

     The subwoofer is used mostly for adding bass to the music, although this occurs quite a lot.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     One extra.

Menu

     The menu included music and allowed for scene selection. The on-screen text was a little too small.

Making of The Lady (27:13)

     An extended making of featurette which covers how Michelle Yeoh and Luc Besson got together to do the film, the challenges of getting footage in Burma, lots of behind the scenes footage plus interview material with Besson, Yeoh & Thewlis about casting, makeup, set design and the effect on the cast & crew of Suu's release during filming.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The local Blu-ray is basically the same as the Region A version however the UK Region B version has an additional extra being a 20 minute documentary about the regime in Burma. Pretty close but Region B UK is the best available.

Summary

    A straight forward but well acted biopic of an important figure in recent times.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good, but not a demo disc.

    The extras are limited to one featurette.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Lady UK version - penguin (there is no bio)