Y/N: You Lie, You Die (True Love) (2012)

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Released 10-Apr-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 98:14
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Enrico Clerico Nasino
Studio
Distributor
Transmission Films Starring Fabio Guaglione
Fabio Resinaro
Tyrees Allen
John Brotherton
Clare Carey
Jay Harrington
Rand Holdren
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Andrea Bonini


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

     Kate (Ellen Hollman) and Jack (John Brotherton) are young and in love. They have different temperaments: Jack is outwardly traditional and staid, Kate is vivacious and outgoing but Jack proposes and they get married. Quite some time after the wedding, although this is not clear at first, Jack awakes in a bare concrete besser-block cell with no windows or doors containing only a bed, a desk and some utensils. He has no idea how he got there and on one wall is a panel with a screen and two push buttons, one labelled Y the other N. We soon learn that Kate is in a similar cell. At intervals videos are projected onto the walls showing events in their lives, sometimes of them together, sometimes with other people. Then a text question appears on the panel that requires a Y or N answer. Most of the questions are about their trust and love for each other. Evasions or untruthful answers are punished; Kate by sleep deprivation or Jack by losing the use of his legs.

     As the days pass a distorted electronic voice gives them instructions, usually ending with the phrase “love is truth”. Then, suddenly, Eric (Gabriel Myers) is in Jack’s room, as confused about how he got there as is Jack. Jack does not know him and there seems to be no connection between them. As the videos continue, delving deeper and deeper into their past lives, it soon becomes apparent that Jack and Kate have secrets they have not told each other, secrets that not only can threaten their relationship but also their lives.

     This is the first feature film by Italian director Enrico Clerico Nasino, although he has been an second assistant director for a handful of films, the most prominent Tom Tykwer’s The International (2009). The writers are Italian and as far as I can tell the film was made mostly in Italy, but in English. It has a clunky title Y/N: You Lie, You Die (the film was originally called True Love) to go with the clunky script.

     The premise of testing true love is an interesting idea and revealing only a section of an event, Rashomon like, is part of the filmmaker’s art. Y/N: You Lie, You Die uses the videos projected onto the cell walls to reveal gradually the story, although we soon realise that only an edited part of a particular event or conversation is shown. Later videos add additional information, sometimes radically altering the meaning of what was shown before so that the truth is only revealed, both to the audience and to Kate and Jack, in small segments. If it is the truth, of course; of that we are never sure, nor is it ever explained how these detailed videos were obtained.

     For this type of plotting to work successfully, scripters need to keep a tight control of their “misdirections” and red herrings and each segment or reveal needs to be done in such a way that it has some logic in terms of the plot. Deliberate misdirections not done well made an audience feel cheated and Y/N: You Lie, You Die errs here; some sections make no sense. Also complicating things further are apparent conflicts with a number of other people, such as Jack’s best friend Sam (Jay Harrington) or Kate’s best friend Dana (Clare Carey) which go nowhere. As a result Y/N: You Lie, You Die does not develop successfully the claustrophobia and sense of horror it should given the set-up. The film also changes tack suddenly after about 70 minutes, basically reversing everything that has gone before, while the resolution when it comes is unsatisfying.

     While interesting in places, Y/N: You Lie, You Die is let down by a confusing script, a lack of any feeling of claustrophobia, horror or paranoia and an unsatisfactory resolution.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Y/N: You Lie, You Die is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The original ratio is not listed in the IMDb, but 1.85:1 looks right.

     When the majority of a film consists of a person in a colourless bare room it is difficult to maintain interesting visuals. The filmmakers have countered this by using a variety of camera tricks, including upside down and sideways camera angles, and various colour palates to good effect.

     The print is generally sharp enough with good definition of faces in close-up. The colour palate is deliberately diverse, including the use of a monochrome colour scheme for surveillance cameras or night vision lenses while other “flashback” scenes also use a variety of hues, contrasts and brightnesses. Within this palate skin tones obviously are going to vary. Blacks are good and shadow detail fine, unless deliberately obscured.

     The print displayed no obvious marks or artefacts.

     There are no subtitles.

     The print is as the filmmakers intended.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     This is a film of dialogue and quite extreme sound effects. Dialogue is mostly clear although the distorted electronic voice is sometimes hard to hear which is a pity as it did provide clues to the plotting. On other occasions, the music seemed to overwhelm some of the dialogue. The sound design included loud white noise intended to punish the prisoners as well disorienting mechanical sound effects which were quite enveloping and effective. The sub-woofer added appropriate bass to the effects.

     The original music by Andrea Bonini was low key and effective.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

     Subtitles would have been useful, especially for the distorted electronic voice. Otherwise the sound design was effective.

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

Extras

     Nothing. The main menu contained only “Play”, not even scene selection.

R4 vs R1

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

     I cannot find any listing for this film in Region 1 US or Region 2 UK under either name.

Summary

     While interesting in places Y/N: You Lie, You Die is confusing, it does not develop successfully the claustrophobia and sense of dread it should have and the resolution is less than satisfying.

     The video and audio are acceptable. No extras, not even a trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, May 06, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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