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The Lady Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: R
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • Blu-ray Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • List Price: $34.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Director Luc Besson, better known for action flicks like The Fifth Element, went out on a limb in making a docudrama about a living person, let alone one as controversial as Aung San Suu Kyi the face of the Burmese National League for Democracy. He took further risk in casting Michele Yeoh, a renowned action film star (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), in the title role. Suu’s story is one of rare courage and dedication to the cause of democracy for the Burmese people. She has been one of the most honored political figures of our time, receiving a Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Lady opens with the assassination of Suu’s father and skips forward to her family life in Oxford with husband Michael Aris (David Thewlis), a university professor of Tibetan studies. When her mother has a stroke, Suu returns for a “short” visit to Burma. Once she sees the atrocities first hand, Suu decides to become an activist, realizing that the only hope for popular government will require her to run for office. After Suu is put under house arrest, her party wins the first national election in forty years. The celebration is short-lived as the military has no intention of relinquishing power. Even after Suu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia, nothing apparently changes in her condition. Years pass, more awards follow, and Suu remains in detention.  After her husband dies from prostate cancer without ever getting to see her again, Suu is finally released and assumes the public leadership of her party.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The picture has decent projection of detail although not as sharp as one might expect for a 2011 film.  On-location filming lends authenticity as we get to see the good, the bad and the ugly of Burma’s recent history. There are many views of Suu, seen from behind, addressing the diverse peoples of Burma and underscoring her appeal to a wide constituency. One can only be grateful to expert cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, a long-time colleague of director Besson, who puts this story right in our collective faces.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

There is a hypnotic soundtrack by accomplished film composer Eric Serra that features the chords and rhythms of the local music. Interestingly enough, Pachelbel’s Canon is chosen as the symbol of Suu’s spirit and endurance, an appropriate choice since it is never ending. Dialogue is crisp and clear. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 version has plenty of presence and atmosphere.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

We get a short list of extras:.

  • Making of “The Lady:” a behind the scenes peak at the film.
  • Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Director Besson goes to great lengths to give us a powerful story. Michele Yeoh gives a tour de force performance and reveals a three dimensional portrait of this complex character. The supporting cast is also superb, particularly David Thewlis, Suu’s long-suffering husband, Benedict Wong as the faithful companion, Karma Phuntsho, and Htun Lin as the evil dictator, General Ne Win. The Lady becomes one of those unusual films in which the whole definitely exceeds the sum of its parts. Perhaps, the defining moment in this movie happens when Suu marches straight through a line of soldiers with rifles aimed directly at her head. Having crossed this proverbial line in the sand, she understands that her life has changed forever. I understand that a number of critics gave this film less than stellar reviews. I am not certain what they were watching, but I found The Lady to be compelling with top-drawer performances, taut direction, fabulous cinematography and a great soundtrack.  Take the time to see this one and I challenge you not to be shaken and moved by film’s end. 

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase The Lady on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Lady

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B008I34Y2Q[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Lady on Blu-ray at CD Universe

The Lady

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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