Correspondence
R1 - America - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Robert Segedy (17th August 2017).
The Film

I couldn’t help but think what a director like Alfred Hitchcock could have done with the material of Giuseppe Tornatore's latest film, "Correspondence". As I watched this film I kept thinking about Hitchcock’s masterpiece of frustrated desire, "Vertigo" (1958), and how this film could have used a dose of the master’s expertise to make it more effective.

We begin with a passionate embrace between lovers Professor Ed Phoerum (Jeremy Irons) and his student Amy Ryan (Olga Kurylrnko); the duo are preparing for another period of being separated from each other again, but the flames of romance seem to be burning just fine, despite Phoerum being married and having a family, but also being a great deal older than his student. Perhaps a dose of Hitchcock’s trademark suspense was needed to liven up this film which tends to be more on the weepy side of things. Not that there’s anything wrong with a nice sad romantic film, but fans of that genre may be left wondering what went wrong with Tornatore’s efforts?

And that brings us to the main issue here; the film looks great, almost like a fashion magazine spread come to life, but the emotional issues, which should be forefront and center, come across as distant and lifeless. Irons, who is excellent as always, comes across as an older man swept up in a love affair with a much more lively, younger woman and that became a sore point for me. Irons essentially is reduced to a talking head seen on a computer monitor as he appears on various CD-ROM’s that he has mailed to Ryan after his mysterious demise. Maybe the technology of the plot appeared somewhat creaky and relied a little too much on cellphones, texting and other plot devices to move it along, and possibly the issue may be that the director is aiming for lofty goals, but falls very well short of scoring any points in the end.

The concept of a love that is eternal is touched upon however amongst all the talk of astrophysics, it essentially falls flat. The problem of this modern ghost story, is that we are never emotionally invested in either of the main characters to give a damn, and we are left with a plodding mess of a film that features Kurylenko as not only a stuntwoman in actions films, but also as a model for a sculptor. How superlative can this woman be? Irons is completely removed from the film only to appear time and time again as an uber stalker that can transcend the restrictions of the grave via text, letters, and various gifts that he somehow managed to have delivered well after his death. I could understand the higher level of greatness that Tornatore aspires to, but his delivery of making me care for these characters left me feeling just as cold and distant as the crab nebula that is viewed through a telescope by his heroine.

On the positive side the cinematography by Fabio Zamarion is rich and elegant; the shooting locales include Italy, York and Edinburgh and the score was composed by award winning legend Ennio Morricone.

Video

Presented in the film's original theatrical ratio of 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen, a nice rich color scheme and eye pleasing palate makes this for some disparate viewing.

Audio

A single audio track is included in English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, the audio gets the job done, some dialogue rings false and probably just lacks in translation, but all conversation is clear, and the soundtrack is very agreeable. Optional subtitles are included only in English for the hearing impaired.

Extras

Nothing of substance here, just the film's original theatrical trailer (2:00) is included. Also included in the case is a code to download a digital copy version of the film.

Packaging

The DVD is packaged in a plastic keep case housed in a cardboard slip-cover.

Overall

"Correspondence" is a love story that tries to pull at the heartstrings, but ultimately fails.

The Film: B Video: A Audio: B

 


DVD Compare is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon Europe S.a.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, and amazon.de.