Young Father Amaro arrives in a small rural parish. He is an instant hit with the locals, inparticular the obsessively devout Amelia, who abandons her more secular boyfriend. Amarobecomes entangled in the power games between the church and a reform-minded newspaper,which outed Amaro’s superior as being in the pocket of the local drug lord. Amaro also findshimself more and more attracted to Amelia, and eventually succumbs to temptation. The Crimeof Padre Amaro makes for inte…esting companion viewing with The Cardinal. Both films hitevery conceivable controversy, only this time the church wears the black hat. Both Amaro andAmelia are pieces of work, and if our sympathy is not with them in this sometimes hilariouslymelodramatic tale, our interest level is always high.
The audio is in 5.1 in both the Spanish and English versions, but don’t watch this dubbed.The sound is very clean, with no distortion. The effects are very nicely executed and balanced.The environmental effects are constant, but subtle, and so don’t overwhelm the dialogue. Theleft-right separation is excellent, and the placement of the various sounds (slamming doors,traffic, you name it) is always spot-on. Very nice effects in particular with birdsong andechoes.
The picture, presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, is also very strong. The flesh tonesand blacks are very good, and there are no edge halos (well done, given how many charactersshow up in black at one point or another) or speckles. There is a bit of grain in one or two shots,but otherwise the picture is perfectly clean, and very sharp. The colours and contrasts are strongas well.
The (subtitled) commentary is provided by director Carlos Carrera and star Gael CarciaBernal, with Carrera holding the floor most of the time. The discussion covers the usual basesfrom the technical and behind-the-scenes perspective, but also places special emphasis on thesymbolic value of various elements in the film. The Making-of featurette is the usual promotionalmaterial. There is also a poster gallery, filmographies for the cast and crew, two versions of thetrailer, and the trailer for Talk to Her. The menu’s main page, intro and transitions are scored andanimated, while the secondary pages are scored.
While somewhat predictable and overwrought, the film is very entertaining, partly for thosevery reasons.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurette
- Poster Gallery