The Truce (Tregua, La) (1997)

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Released 17-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Gallery-Photo
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Facing Windows, I'm With Lucy, HappyTexas,
Trailer-The Rage In Placid Lake
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 117:24
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (59:58) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Francesco Rosi
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring John Turturro
Rade Serbedzija
Massimo Ghini
Stefano Dionisi
Teco Celio
Roberto Citran
Claudio Bisio
Andy Luotto
Agnieszka Wagner
Lorenza Indovina
Marina Gerasimenko
Igor Bezgin
Aleksandr Ilyin
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Luis Enríquez Bacalov


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Truce begins in 1945 as military pressure from the allies and the Russians is forcing the Nazis to withdraw from Poland, abandoning their concentration camps and leaving the survivors to fend for themselves. Primo (John Turturro) is an Auschwitz survivor who is eager to return to his home in Turin, but finds the road back to Italy arduous and wrought with shady characters. Besides being an eternal optimist, Primo is a chemist by trade and finds his skills difficult to apply in his newfound predicament. Soon after being coldly liberated by the Russians he boards a train travelling in the wrong direction and meets a Greek on board (Rade Serbedzija), a realist and stirrer extraordinaire who sees the turn of events in World War II as the logical progression of history. Such a refreshing outlook! Exhausted and without any real plans, Primo agrees to carry the Greek's mysterious luggage in exchange for a share of the contents, whatever they may be. Primo's relationship with the Greek is short lived and the two part ways, just as Primo is rounded up into a Russian labour camp for refugees that have been liberated from the Nazis.

    The film follows Primo from one obstacle to another as he tries every avenue possible to make it across the continent to his home in Italy. Primo is constantly haunted by violent memories of his time at Auschwitz and despite the awful circumstances of the story, there are many hilarious and genuinely uplifting moments as we join Primo on his journey. The casting of this film is equally magic; Turturro and Rade are an outstanding on-screen pair that really give the viewer a sense of hope and fulfilment, however hopeless their situation.

    Despite the alternate title La Tregua, the film is mostly comprised of English dialogue. There are a few lines of dialogue in other languages that pass by untranslated, but you can rest assured that these don't hinder the flow of the story. As a whole, the film is very well made and can easily sit alongside similar films such as The Pianist and Life Is Beautiful. The direction by Francesco Rosi has an epic and distinctly European feel - in fact, I can imagine it would have been great to see in a theatre. I'm sorry to say that my main regret regarding this film is the transfer it has received to DVD.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. Details regarding the film's original theatrical ratio are sketchy, however given the framing of this transfer I suspect it may have been exhibited at 1.85:1.

    Unfortunately, resolution is limited. The level of clarity and fine detail is poor, with no film-like sharpness to be seen. Shadow detail is average and black levels rarely extend beyond a dark grey.

    Most colours appear washed out and bland, however I would not be surprised if this were an artistic decision. The flames during the opening titles (0:52) exhibit no richness in colour and the remainder of the film is similarly void of any really bold colouring. Flashback sequences are presented in black and white.

    Fast motion on screen leaves a trail of interleaving and is very distracting on a big screen. Thankfully the opposite is true for aliasing, given the softness of the transfer.

    Compression artefacts are mild, but visible. MPEG noise can be seen in the white background at 1:13, however there isn't any large-scale blocking to be seen. Film artefacts are common, ranging from mild telecine wobble in the film's opening to consistent specks of dust and dirt throughout. Despite the softness of the transfer, a wash of film grain is visible at times. Damage can sometimes be seen in the source, not extending beyond scratches and the like. At 9:25 a persistent scratch occupies the left of the frame for several seconds.

    There are no selectable subtitle streams provided. There are pieces of dialogue in many different languages throughout the film, but most pass by untranslated. Some burned in subtitles appear at 30:40, translating a conversation in Latin.

    This disc is dual layered, with the layer transition placed during the feature at 59:58.

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

Audio

    Only one soundtrack is provided; a wafer thin English Dolby Digital 2.0 stream encoded at 224Kb/s. Surround processing did nothing to enhance the stereo soundtrack, making it overly tinny with an unrealistic presence in the rears.

    The English dialogue is commonly delivered with an accent of some kind, but is always easy to discern above the rest of the soundtrack. The film's ADR is realistic and relatively consistent. Audio sync is free from any dire issues.

    The thin audio bitrate doesn't do the score or effects any justice. Overall depth and realism in the soundtrack is limited, however there is plenty of directional panning evident which succeeds in giving a spacious feel. The film opens with two explosions in the first thirty seconds, neither of which register the slightest flutter of spill to the subwoofer.

    The film's orchestral score is credited to Luis Bacalov and flows perfectly with the film's emotional highs and lows. The film's theme features some beautiful pan flute work.

    There is no subwoofer or surround activity present.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are static, silent and 16x9 enhanced.

Still Gallery

    Presented with 16x9 enhancement, there are 17 stills to scroll through from the film and three taken during the production.

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    Filmographies are included for five of the main cast members and Director Francesco Rosi.

Trailers (4)

    Trailers are included for the films Facing Windows, I'm With Lucy, Happy Texas and Ben Lee in The Rage In Placid Lake.

R4 vs R1

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

    There doesn't appear to be any compelling differences between regions, aside from some alternate language dubs.

Summary

    The Truce is an inspiring tale of survival, given a sub-par transfer to DVD. If you enjoyed The Pianist or Life Is Beautiful, this is certainly worth a look.

    Unfortunately, it appears the video transfer has had artefacting introduced at almost every stage of the transfer process.

    The stereo soundtrack is spacious, but wafer thin.

    There are a couple of little extras included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Saturday, April 16, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R1 - penguin