S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
(Haifaa al-Mansour, 2012)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Razor Film
Video: Sony Pictures
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 39,193,198,527 bytes
Feature Size: 26,449,975,296 bytes
Video Bitrate: 27.94 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: February 11th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio Arabic 3184 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3184 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUB: DTS-HD Master Audio French 2780 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2780 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English, English (SDH), French, none
• Commentary by writer/director Al Haiffa Mansour
• The Making of Wadjda (33:35)
• Director's Guild of America (38:20)
• Trailer (2:04)
DVD of the film included
Description: Wadjda is a 10-year-old girl living in a suburb
of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Although she lives
in a conservative world, Wadjda is fun loving,
entrepreneurial and always pushing the boundaries of what
she can get away with.
Writer/director Haifaa al-Mansour makes her feature directorial debut with this film about a headstrong 10-year-old girl named Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) who's determined to challenge a neighborhood boy to a bike race despite the potentially dire repercussions. When Wadjda's mother refuses to purchase her a bike, the young girl defiantly enters a Koran reading competition to earn the money she needs to buy it herself. Once Wadjda has her bike, the only thing left to do is prove to her young friend Abdullah that girls can race bikes just as well as boys. But not everyone is willing to accept a young girl who refuses to play by society's rules, and now the closer Wadjda gets to achieving her goal, the deeper her understanding of the division between the sexes grows.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
“Wadjda” is circumspect about putting forth any overt criticisms
of mosque or state. Instead, the movie presents the facts of its
heroine’s life — and also, more obliquely, the lives of her mother,
classmates and teachers — with calm authority and devastating
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Wadjda, shot in HD, looks solid on Blu-ray from Sony. The image quality supports the heavy earthy-brown and dusty pallet of the location - shot exclusively in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Detail is tight and the contrast is layered enough inside the 1.78:1 frame. It has the similar attributes of this format. This is dual-layered with a decent bitrate. Certainly the few colors are bolder (dress in the store) and most visual attributes above SD-capability including some desirable depth - and no noise. There are no flaws - the video is clean and produces, what appears to be, an authentic visual representation of the theatrical film.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The audio track is strong - a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3184 kbps in original Arabic. Effects are minimal but depth is noted and the music is by Max Richter (Waltz With Bashir) supports the film with gently grace. The track is rarely tested by the film's sound stage. There is an optional French DUB. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.
Extras include a revealing commentary by writer/director Al Haiffa Mansour. Topics broached are her role as the first female Saudi filmmaker and the fact that there are no movie theaters in Saudi Arabia. Production details are covered as well as the lengthy time to get funding. She seems young (to me), frank and informative. We also get a 1/2 featurette; The Making of Wadjda which shows many behind-the-scenes footage. Also included is the Director's Guild of America Q+A piece with Al Haiffa Mansour running almost 40-minutes. Lastly, there is a trailer.
February 4th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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