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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Ruth Platt
UK 2015

 

Not to be confused with the superior Bulgarian UROK (THE LESSON) in which another teacher driven to the end of their wits tries in vain to teacher her students a valuable life lesson, the feature debut of actress-turned-director Ruth Platt (THE PIANIST) finds put-upon and bullied secondary school teacher Mr. Gale (Robert Hands, SHINE) arriving at the conclusion that man's true nature is as Lord of the Flies's William Golding believed "base, savage, and cruel." Abducting the two worst examples of his class - slut-shaming bully Joel (Rory Coltart) and follower Fin (Evan Bendall) - casting them as captive audiences in his power tool-assisted lesson on human nature, cruelty, and empathy. Unlike some disturbing stateside examples, THE LESSON does not demand its audience empathize with the teacher (however increasingly disempowered and marginalized they are made to feel as glorified babysitters) as it becomes quite obvious through his verbacious lectures that Mr. Gale has always looked upon his pupils as "base, savage, and cruel" beings, expecting mimicry rather than empathy for the "kindness" he believes he initially demonstrated with them. Although the film does give depth to Fin as the product of his environment - having lost the mother who loved him, unwanted by the absent father who believed him to be fathered by another, barely tolerated by elder brother Jake (Tom Cox) who would prefer that he apply for government housing, with the only positive force in his life in Jake's wife Mia (Michaela Prchalová) who values the family she has made with them - it does not excuse Fin's acting out or the cruelty and wanton destructiveness of him and his friends. However much Gale likens Joel to Lord of the Flies' sadist and expresses surprise at his own enjoyment of torture, the teacher's enjoyment of the pain he inflicts suggests an unacknowledged sadistic streak finally given full reign. If the ending seems more than a little escapist, it is a relief after the unrelenting grimness of the preceding entirety.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 29 February 2016 (UK)

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DVD Review: Icon Home Entertainment (Frightfest Presents) - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Icon Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:36:03 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.2 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 English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Icon Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Introduction (16:9; 2:19)
� Outtakes (16:9; 2:30)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: July 11th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Icon's dual-layer encode of this anamorphic widescreen production sports crisp close-ups while some long shots and medium shots seem softer due to backlighting and some seeming digital defocusing for reduced depth-of-field. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track gets the job done given the intimate nature of the film's settings and the alienated feel of the exterior scenes. Optional English HoH subtitles are provided and keep up with the rapidity of the teacher's lectures and the accents of the other characters. Besides the Frightfest introduction and previews for the other four 2016 titles, the only relevant extra is a short outtakes reel that will not shed any more light on the making-of the film.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Icon Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 

 



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