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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Une affaire d'état" )

 

directed by Eric Valette
France 2009

 

When a French plane explodes over the Congo, banker and adviser to the president Victor Bornand (André Dussollier, A HEART IN WINTER) enlists coke-snorting ex-operative Fernandez (Thierry Frémont, FEMME FATALE) to discover the source of a newspaper leak that the plane was carrying weapons to be traded to the country's rebels in exchange for the release of twelve French soldiers. As equally shady National Intelligence captain Macquart (Jean-Marie Winling, THE GIRL CUT IN TWO) attempts to implicate Bornand in the affair, Bornand leans on his suppliers to organize another cache of weapons and transport. Fernandez traces the source of the leak to hooker Katryn (Élodie Navarre, GRANDE ECOLE) who relays information she learns at the private parties of "PR specialist" Mado (Christine Boisson, EMMANUELLE) to porn photographer Chardron (Laurent Bateau, OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES) for blackmail. Fernandez dispatches Chardron and gets rid of the body (informing Bornand that he skipped the country); but his accidental killing of Katryn puts him in the debt of Mado who puts him on the trail of new detective Nora Chahyd (Rachida Brakni, HIP MOVES) whose investigations into the prostitute's death have lead her uncomfortably close to Mado's "behind closed doors" activities.

Slick and fast-paced, STATE AFFAIRS is nevertheless muddled more by the large cast of characters rather than the multiple double-crosses and back-stabbings. Dussollier and Boisson fare well effortless with the barest of characterization (as does Frémont whose actions and subtle reactions lend the film a bit of humor), although their realizations of betrayal and senses of loss are less resonant since it's often hard to keep track of who's who among the supporting cast (I'm pretty sure I was paying attention, but it took me a while to realize what I thought were two supporting characters were in fact the same person). Supposed lead Brakni, on the other hand, is not given sufficient screen time or characterization to come across and pretty much functions robotically according to the demands of the plot. Not a bad way to spend an hour and a half, but STATE AFFAIRS doesn't really say anything new that a hundred other cut-throat political thrillers have already said. Deserving of special mention is the wonderfully playful score by electronica artist Noko (who also appears onscreen as a street accordionist whose performance segues into another rendition of the main theme).

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 25 November 2009 (France)

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:35:15 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.36:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.81 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.36:1

Edition Details:
• Start-up trailers for BRAQUO and MAISON CLOSE

DVD Release Date: June 17th, 2013
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Arrow Films' barebones single-layer disc features a serviceable anamorphic transfer with some edge enhancement and a trace of moiring on Christine Boisson's striped blazer. Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 audios are fine and the optional English subtitles are error-free (although take note that they are not turned on by default). The French DVD and Blu-ray have some extras but no English subtitles.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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