Vinyan (2008)

Genre(s): Drama / Thriller
Sony || R - 96 minutes - $24.96 || April 7, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-04-10


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Fabrice du Welz
Writer(s): Fabrice du Welz (written by)
Cast: Emmanuelle Beart, Rufus Sewell


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Featurette


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French

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.::THE FILM::.

Synopsis: A couple leaves the civilized world behind and descends into a living nightmare in this chilling horror thriller. Six months after losing her only child in the Southeast Asia tsunami, Jeanne (Emmanuelle Béart) is convinced she sees him in a film about orphans living in the jungles of Burma. While her husband, Paul (Rufus Sewell), is worried that she's losing her mind, he still agrees to take her to search for their son together. Introduced to a dangerous gang of human traffickers, they find themselves alone and stranded in the middle of a treacherous jungle, set upon by a band of feral children. Has their search for their son led them to a fate more horrific than death?

Fabrice Du Welz’s jungle fever, this horror-thriller is nothing more than a big mess of a film. I love watching Rufus Sewell in just about anything he’s in, I think he’s one of the more underrated actors who, if given the chance, can carry a project (like he’s now doing with CBS’ “Eleventh House”) and I adore Emmanuelle Béart to no end since her appearance in Mission Impossible.

The problem I had with Vinyan wasn’t the insane and chaotic direction, in fact I thought it was one of the better aspects – to go along with Benoit Debie, but instead it’s a thin and underdeveloped story stretched thin even within the confines of a short running time (96-minutes). This seems more like a short film stretched out to feature length.

My other issue is the unintentially hilarious scenes, especially one coming near the end when Paul and Jeanne come across a tribe of kids (well, kind of), one of which gets a hold of Jeanne’s lipstick (channeling his inner Heath Ledger Joker) and, as these creepy kids like to do with any object (rocks or whatever is handy), throws this lipstick as Paul walks by. Perhaps it was my own madness setting in, but I found that funny to no end.

In any case, as visually arresting as the film is and two good performances by Sewell and Béart, I just could not get into this movie at all. Sure, it’s great that it isn’t just another mainstream Hollywood film, but it was a little too odd for my own taste.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The only feature is a Vinyan: The Making of (49:35). This surprisingly extensive featurette/documentary takes us from some of the daily shooting of the movie with behind-the-scenes looks with cast and crew sound bites with some honest comments about the script’s shortcomings and whatnot.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Vinyan comes to DVD with a 2.35 aspect ratio and overall it looks good though there is a ton of noise in many spots and it is grainy, but that’s probably the director’s choice.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio sounds great, especially the opening sequence and François-Eudes Chanfrault’s creepy score.



.::OVERALL::.

Nobody can say Vinyan isn’t a visually interesting film going deep into the jungles and inside the madness of the human mind, but as a story, the film fails as it stretches too much in even a short running time. I think if this were a short film (60-minutes) it could’ve worked but instead we get many low-key scenes that add nothing in terms of both character development and story.