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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Fool aka Durak [Blu-ray]


(Yuriy Bykov, 2014)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Rock Film Studio

Video: Olive Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:00:52.166

Disc Size: 24,482,077,327 bytes

Feature Size: 24,010,825,728 bytes

Video Bitrate: 22.99 Mbps

Chapters: 9

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 19th, 2016



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio Russian 2046 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, None



Trailer (1:48)





Description: A dramatic tale worthy of Dostoyevsky, The Fool tells the story of one man s fight against a corrupt political system. Dima (Artyom Bystrov, Break Loose) is a young man eking out a living in modern day Russia as a plumber s assistant while working to finish college. Called out late one night to inspect a leak at a derelict housing community, he discovers a major structural problem and a building on the verge of collapse. In his attempt to save the lives of the eight hundred residents, Dima will find himself drawn into a world of dark secrets and cancerous corruption, where politicians and power players live by their own code and where tragic consequences are but a grim afterthought.

The Fool, written and directed by Yury Bykov (
The Major, Live!), features Artyom Bystrov (Break Loose), Natalya Surkova (Our Own), Boris Nevzorov (The Major) and Yury Tsurilo (Hard to Be a God).



The Film:

Dima Nikitin is a simple and honest plumber who works in a small Russian town. Except for his unusual integrity, nothing makes him stand out of the crowd, until one night in a dorm mainly occupied by drunkards and outcasts, the pipes burst, endangering the occupants. Everybody needs to be immediately evacuated but nobody cares, so Nikitin sets off on a night-long odyssey to fight an entire system of corrupt bureaucrats.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The dreary unidentified Russian town that is the setting of Yuri Bykov’s devastating film, “The Fool,” is an outpost of hell. If you can bear to look at it, I recommend you pay a visit and study it from behind bulletproof glass, because similar places aren’t all that uncommon.

Built four decades ago, the town of 30,000 already looks ancient but not in a good way. Its public housing resembles decaying prison architecture, and the streets are covered with a thin blanket of dirty snow. How, you wonder, could anything good flourish in this ugly, dehumanizing cesspool of social rot, entrenched corruption and brutish inhumanity overseen by a cabal of bigwigs whom the movie observes like suspects in a police lineup.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Fool (Durak) arrives on Blu-ray from Olive Films. It's standard single-layered but the image is quite appealing. It's a new film and hence there are no issues with the source condition or age. The 1080P exports tight visuals with rich, true. colors and no visible flaws. Contrast is impressive and the 2.35:1 film looks solid in-motion. The Blu-ray image has some minor depth and I really don't have any complaints with the video appearance.



















Audio :

Audio is transferred to a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2046 kbps (24-bit) in the original Russian. There is no real score but we do get Viktor Tsoy's Spokoynaya noch as performed by Kino imparting some seething depth. It's clean, dialogue audible and there are optional English subtitles. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Only a trailer which is a shame as I think this film warrants some discussion. It is fine filmmaking.



I loved The Fool (Durak). Poignant, grass roots expression that lingers with you well after you watch it. I was, kind of, blown away - Kirill Klepalov's cinematography, the performances - this is very worthy of some recognition! The Blu-ray (cool cover) is typically bare-bones but it does give you the opportunity to see the film in a 1080P presentation. Absolutely recommended! 

Gary Tooze

April 17th, 2016

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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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