Chosen
R0 - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (5th May 2017).
The Film

"Chosen" (2016)

An epic tale of family, honor, vengeance and salvation in World War II.
The year is 1944 and the Jews of Eastern Europe are being massacred by the thousands.
An unassuming recently widowed Hungarian barrister leads an inspirational fight back against the
increasingly desperate and dangerous Nazis in the dying embers of the war. With a combination of
daring, courage and audacity he turns a struggle to survive into something far more consequential
- a way to avenge the deaths of his people by saving thousands of others.


Based on true events, "Chosen" is a harrowing account of the Hungarian lawyer Sunsun (played by Luke Mably) who loses his wife to cancer, loses his home and freedom to the Nazi regime during World War II. Also starring Ana Ularu and Harvey Keitel, directed by Jasmin Dizdar, the film is an emotional draw yet it has some minor issues . The flashback storytelling, the underdeveloped supporting characters, and the slightly lacking middle section are the weaker portions, though there are a great amount of tense scenes especially in the spying and infiltration scenes. The segments of Keitel in modern time telling his grandson about the story seems more of a tacked on piece to make the storytelling easier to absorb rather than something of greater substance.

Shot in Romania for the WWII segments and in New York for the modern segments with an international cast and crew, the independent film quietly slipped direct-to-video in many territories including the United States and Australia.

Note this is a region 0 PAL DVD which can play back on any DVD or Blu-ray player with PAL capability.

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the film in 2.35:1 with anamorphic enhancement in the PAL format. The film has a dark overtone with emphasis on grays and browns and the transfer is an adequate one with good details, colors, and sharpness.

The runtime of the film is 100:58.

Screencaps are as follows:













Audio

English Dolby Digital 5.1
The original English track with some minor background speech in Hungarian and German, is presented in 5.1. Dialogue is clean and centered while effects and the foreboding music cues use the surround channels very effectively. As with most European World War II film, one wonders why everyone speaks English rather than their native language but, that could be answered by seeing the film as what the young boy Max sees from his grandfather narrating in English. There are no issues of audio errors in the track.

There are no subtitles for the film, which is a shame considering the accented players making some of the details harder to catch.

Extras

There are no extras on the disc. Nothing about the true story it was based on, no interviews with the cast or crew, and nothing about the behind the scenes process. The trailer is also not included, but has been embedded below:

Overall

"Chosen" winds up playing to too many cliches to make it a memorable war film. While the film does have good performances, many of the characters are underdeveloped and the biggest name of all (Keitel) being more of a later addition rather than a true character of the piece. Umbrella Entertainment presents a good transfer for the DVD in the video and audio departments, but sadly no extras are provided.

The Film: C- Video: A Audio: A Extras: F- Overall: D

 


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