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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Berlin Syndrome [Blu-ray]


(Cate Shortland, 2017)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Aquarius Films

Video: Artificial Eye



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

Runtime: 1:55:57.125 

Disc Size: 40,014,153,081 bytes

Feature Size: 35,339,986,944 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 2nd, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1879 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1879 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit



English (For German language only), none



Behind the Scenes (14:48)
Trailer (2:14)





Description: Australian thriller directed by Cate Shortland. While backpacking around Germany, Australian photojournalist Clare (Teresa Palmer) finds herself wandering the streets of Berlin looking for adventure when she meets local English teacher Andi (Max Riemelt). A passionate, whirlwind romance ensues between the pair but Clare begins to wonder what she's let herself in for when she awakens one morning to find herself imprisoned in Andi's apartment. With Andi transformed from the charming man she first met Clare fears for her life as she clings to the hope of escaping, however, as she is still dependent on him for survival, the pair's bond continues to grow in unexpected ways...



The Film:

Acclaimed Australian director Cate Shortland's (Lore and Somersault) potent thriller unfolds with a slow-burn intensity as Clare's growing dread becomes your own. Adapted by Shaun Grant (The Snowtown Murders) from Melanie Joosten's 2011 novel, Berlin Syndrome is psychologically acute and uncommonly observant to the shifting power dynamics between captor and prisoner. Palmer's empathetic and courageous performance keeps us rooting for Clare, while Riemelt brings terrifying depth to the disturbed Andi.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

The suspenseful nature of the film, right up to its climax, was also underlined by the fact that, even after we had been told the rest of the plot by the director Cate Shortland and her cast, who gave an early start to the Q&A, virtually everyone remained to see the film play out after a DCP reboot.

By that point, we were all fully invested in the survival of Aussie tourist Clare (Teresa Palmer) in her bid to escape the clutches of her obsessive captor Andi (Max Riemelt). Shaun Grant, adapting his screenplay from the novel by Melanie Joost, has, alongside Shortland, carefully constructs the tension to that point, allowing the thriller elements to creep in almost unnoticed at first before they gather pace.

Excerpt from EyeForFilm located HERE

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

Berlin Syndrome gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye.  It's dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 2 hour feature. It was shot with the Arri Alexa and being a modern film (released this year) there are no flaws. We presume this 1080P to be a very accurate representation of the, sometime dark, film's theatrical appearance. Flawless - devoid of imperfections of any kind.























Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of Berlin Syndrome offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 1879 kbps with a few sharp separations in the film's infrequent, but explosive, aggression. There is also a linear PCM stereo track (both 16-bit) and the score is by Bryony Marks who had done mostly TV work until recently. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are optional English subtitles for the German dialogue only - of which there are some extended sequences - mostly between Andi (Max Riemelt) and his father Erich (Matthias Habich.) My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

There is a decent 1/4 hour Behind the Scenes piece with snippets from the cast/crew and footage shot during production. There is also a trailer.



Well, a highly interesting film. Berlin Syndrome has a lot to offer beyond an obvious, ultra-creepy, thriller. The horror-psychodrama elements are eclipsed by the emotional manipulation, perversity and deliberately-paced character development. Definitely worth re-watching.  The Artificial Eye Blu-ray provides a very strong a/v presentation and some supplements although a director commentary would have added further value. As it stands - this is a worthy recommendation! Make sure you catch this one! 

Gary Tooze

September 27th, 2017



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