Review of Believer, The
This powerful and poignant movie delivers some intense messages of self belief and the power of faith and ones own identity. The above synopsis, taken from the DVDs back cover sums up the story perfectly and contains top performances by all the principle cast.
You could compare it to the likes of American History X or even Mississippi Burning but this really holds its own and stands above both as an intelligent and compelling piece of cinema.
Like many missed or limited release theatrical movies out last year this is another that gathered great acclaim at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, Donnie Darko was another, but this was honoured with the Grand Jury Prize for best picture under the drama category. The award speaks for itself.
Yet another low budget movie that suffers from low ASA film grain. The picture, 1.85:1 Anamorphic, is a little dull but like many of these films it tends to ad an air of reality and would probably not have worked that well in shinny, plastic Hollywood blockbuster mode. The blacks seem a little grey and never quite reach the solid shadow levels. Whites remain bright with only slight smearing and halos. There is only a slight amount of edge enhancement and macro blocking.
A tense strident 2.0 stereo track works well with a wide front soundstage which also offers a good thumping matrixed bass. This really emphasises the terrific musical score.
A Sundance Channel produced 30-minute documentary called Anatomy of a Scene that offers great insight into the production of such an emotional movie is the cream of the crop. The cast and crew offer their own views on the central character played by Gosling and on the real life person who inspired Henry Bean`s story and his first movie. There`s a lot of behind the scenes footage and a screen test by Gosling.
You also get the theatrical trailer.
A top quality thought provoking movie with great performances. It`s nicely put together on this Pathe DVD with a picture that is above average and can`t really be knocked just for the type of film stock used. A must watch for the thinking person movie buff.
the audio is above average for a 2.0 track but a full 5.1 would have been nice.