Uma Thurman plays Debby, a young woman so wound up that she has experiencedpsychosomatic blindness. She and her best friend Beth (Juliette Lewis) hit the bars looking forlove. If ever a character radiated desperation, it’s Debby. As Thurman plays her, she’s toxicallyradioactive, one more disappointment from snapping completely. Both the leads are very good,but this is the kind of role that Lewis has more than mastered in the past, whereas Thurman isone doing the real stretc…, and she is cringingly convincing.
The sound is clear, but the mix is a bit weak. I had to boost the volume quite a bit before Iwas happy with the result. There isn’t any distortion, at least, and both music and sound effectsare well balanced. The sense of environment is pretty constant, and there are some very sharpleft-right moments as well. Good audio, then, but lacking the power to push it to the nextlevel.
The format is, like HBO’s other features, 1.78:1 (and once more, let me applaud the moveto widescreen by TV movies). The flesh tones and blacks are very good, and the night scenesare particularly successful, with strong contrasts and no grain or edge haloes. The picture is justa little bit soft, however, and strong as the night scenes, are, the daylight sequences feel a bitdark.
I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that director Mira Nair is one of the top 5 audiocommentators going. As on her other films (such as Salaam Bombay!), she is beautifullyarticulate (you could listen to her read the Yellow Pages) and just as clear as she goes in depthinto the hows and (more importantly) the whys of the filmmaking process. Instead of pointlessfeaturettes, we are given print interviews with Thurman, Lewis, Nair and writer Laura Cahill,as wewll as cast and crew bios. There is also a very small photo gallery (a half-dozenpublicity stills). The menu is basic.
There are plenty of scenes of social humiliation here that will make you want to crawl intoa hole. Well done, though.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Still Gallery
- Cast and Crew Bios
- Print Interviews