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dvd / blu-ray Review

The Keeping Room (DVD) : Review

Film

In the time of the American Civil War, as hostilities are drawing to a close, women have found themselves living without men, needing to fend for themselves and take on many of the roles once solely the domain of the male.

Three women, Augusta (Brit Marling), Louise (Hailee Steinfeld – Enders Game, 3 Days To Kill) and Mad (Muna Otaru) find themselves in these hard times, needing to defend their home and themselves against two rogue Yankee soldiers, Moses (Sam Worthington – Everest) and Henry (Kyle Soller – Fury, The Fifth Estate), who have broken away from the fast approaching Union Army.

Showing the tougher side of the feminine sex, The Keeping Room, while an engaging story, pulls no punches. It is gritty, and gets straight to the point. In the time the story is set, life was tough, there is racial segregation, discrimination based on gender and skin colour, and many felt they had the right to take what they wanted. A time when there were outlaws who ran amok and people had to band together to fight for their lives, and keep what is rightfully theirs.

The Keeping Room is a gritty story, expertly told with a great cast. While the plot does meander slightly at times, it does not ponder too long on each respective event or aspect of daily life, but seeks to give meaning to each segment, opting to further the story rather than lose any pace. With a rather straight forward story thread, one is not left trying to think ahead as the tale is told, but rather sit back and enjoy. While some parts are action filled, others play more on the emotion, while still putting these forward in the most tasteful of ways.

A story of strength and overcoming, with the feel of a western. The Keeping Room is a tough, engrossing film.

Disc

From a technical aspect, the disc is of a good quality overall, and what one would expect from a commercially available disc.

The Keeping Room is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on screen. There is no colour bleed. In the several darker scenes, detail is remains good, allowing the viewer to still follow with ease.

Viewers with the relevant hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they so wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, with dialogue clear via the centre channel.

The surround channel usage serves to expand the on-screen world, and further draws the viewer into the story, adding to the overall immersion.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, with a static main menu screen, saving space on the disc, and allowing for less compression of the main feature.

There is an audio sub-menu, to select between the 5.1 and 2.0 soundtracks.

A chapter selection sub-menu allows one to jump to a specific part of the film. Each of these menu pages contains a static background image, some music and a numbered motion-thumbnail showing the part of the main title it navigates to.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, other than trailers for Hell Or High Water, Viral and The 9th Life Of Louis Drax that auto-play at the beginning of the disc. While one can not skip between these, they can be fast-forwarded or one can skip to the main disc menu.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za
And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/