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Indochine [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Pham, Jean Yanne, Dominique Blanc
  • Directors: Regis Wargnier
  • Producers: Eric Heumann
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Nov. 2009
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002L5NYMS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,070 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Eliane is a wealthy French plantation owner living in Indochina in the 1930's with her father and adopted native daughter Camille. She has a brief affair with a young officer, John Baptiste, but to her dismay discovers Camille has fallen madly in love with him. Eliane is able to arrange to have him transferred and Camille gets married to another man. However, Camille never stops loving Jean- Baptiste and sets out acroos the country to find him.

From Amazon.co.uk

Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign-language film in 1992, Indochine is a vast, panoramic love story set in the twilight years of French Indo-China. Comparisons with David Lean are inevitable, considering director Régis Wargnier's use of the setting as a backdrop to the love-triangle between the three main characters. Catherine Deneuve gives a strong, emotionally restrained performance as Eliane, the plantation owner whose colonial paradise is slowly falling apart. Vincent Perez is magnetic yet thoughtful as the young officer Jean-Baptiste, complemented by Jean Yanne's dry cynicism as the Chief of Police knowingly fighting a losing battle for French culture. Linh Dan Pham is affecting as Camille, Eliane's adopted daughter whose journey from aristocratic ancestry to Marxist induction personifies the changing face of South-East Asia in the period around World War Two. Patrick Doyle's score reinforces the expressive sweep of the direction and "orientalisms!" are kept to a minimum.

On the DVD The 16:9 wide-screen format reproduces best in the domestic scenes, and there are 30 individual chapter points, detailed in the interactive moving menu. The disc also has detailed filmographies for the main cast and director, including an entertaining "gossip" file for Deneuve. English subtitles are optional. A half-hour location report would have been worthwhile, but overall this is a persuasive presentation of one of the few genuine historical-romantic epics of the 1990s. --Richard Whitehouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Nov. 2001
Format: DVD
This movie moved me in so many ways. There's the beautiful landscape of Vietnam. So exquisite in the cinematographer's hands that it makes you forget all those tragic images of American Vietnam war movies. Seeing them makes you understand why so many foreigners invaded this beautiful land. There's the blatant and honest look at the oppresion of the Indochinese under the hands of the French. It's in the background but nothing is glossed over. You will be apalled at the sight of these people being whipped and sold in the name of France. There's the factual depiction of the nationalist movement. The blood, the filth, the brutality...it's there for the audience to see.
But most importantly, there's the excellent performance of the protagonists. All the actors are amazing and convincing in their roles. Deneuve is all elegance and restraint, perfect as Eliane. Vincent Perez is in top-form as Jean-Baptiste. His conversion from rigid military man to someone who finally opens up to what is before him, is utterly convincing. Linh Dam Pham is all allure, innocence and determination. She is a marvelous actress who can convey so many emotions with just a mere look.
The chemistry between the actors are also affecting. There's genuine maternal and filial affection between Eliane (Deneuve) and her adopted Indochinese daughter, Camille (Pham). Lust, decadence and pride dominate Eliane's and Jean-Baptiste illicit affair. Love is in its purest form in the relationship of Camille and Jean-Baptiste. The scenes between Perez and Pham are both tender and sensual, evoking some of the most romantic and unforgettalbe scenes in movie history.
All the protagonists try to avoid the inevitable...the collapse of French control in Indochina...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2007
Format: DVD
In its day a casualty of the chaos and confusion surrounding the frequently ridiculous entry qualifications for the Best Foreign Film Oscar - many superior films were ruled ineligible and those it was competing against were scarcely representative of the world's best - Indochine may not be great art, but it is an enjoyable example of the kind of old-fashioned good storytelling that Hollywood rarely produces anymore.

Set against the last days of the French occupation of what was to later become Vietnam, it uses the relationship between Catherine Deneuve's French plantation owner and her adopted Vietnamese daughter (Linh Dan Pham) as a mirror for the relationship between France and Vietnam. Like the American South, for the privileged few, the French IndoChina is a fairy tale land built on the exploitation of others, which they excuse as 'paternalism.' But the idyll comes crashing down when the daughter runs away from home in search of her lover (Vincent Perez), who had previously had an affair with Deneuve, with tragic consequences.

The film moves between glossy soap opera, political drama and epic romance quite effectively, with strong performances and occasionally striking direction from Regis Wargnier and scoring from Patrick Doyle. Francois Catonne's photography is often disappointing, however, over-fond of the caramel tints that have become something of an unattractive visual cliché for period drama with pretensions to the socio-political, at least until the second act where the film really gets into its stride. Heralded by a sinister procession of sampans making their torch lit way through the night, the scenes on Dragon Island are film-making of a very high order bringing the political, emotional and narrative to the fore in a seamless whole.

Not a great film by any means, but a well-balanced, entertaining and more intelligent one than its detractors give it credit for. No extras on the UK DVD, but a good widescreen transfer.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By H S Marks on 2 Jun. 2006
Format: DVD
This film is brilliant on every level and one of the most moving of all time.

The genius of this drama is that starts off as a crowd-pleasing colonial soap-opera and ends up as both a hard hitting political epic and a transcendent love story.

However I strongly urge you to buy the other version sold here on Amazon UK as the subtitling translation especially for the Vietnamese as well as the French, the DVD authoring, the frame-rate and running speed as well as the sound and the colour are all better on the R1 edition.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
This deeply felt and emotionally rich portrait of a country about to change forever is one of the most beautiful films ever made. It is elegant and opulent in it's visual presentation and subtle in it's human tale of heartbreak. This film has the majesty of morning sunlight on water we dare not shield our eyes from for fear we will miss one moment of its glory.
Director Reigis Wargnier has created a masterpiece of epic beauty, showing us the country of Vietnam when it existed as the French colony Indochine. He shows how and why the communist uprising was so popular and the way of life it threatened. It does not make judgements but shows the human drama and the heartbreak caused by a way of life that existed and the one that was coming to change it.

Wargnier accomplishes all this in a slow and visually stunning portrait of one family in Indochine centering around the magnificent performance of Catherine Deneuve as French rubber plantation owner Eliane Deveries and the equally terrific Linh Dan Phan as her adopted Indochine daughter Camille. The contrasts of Eliane's cool elegance and Camille's young and sensual beauty is like a mirror for the country itself as Wargner shows the difference between the French and those that serve them.
Eliane runs her rubber plantation with the help of her 'coolies' and it appears to be her entire life except for her daughter Camille. Eliane's cool outward elegance only masks the repressed emotions she hides from others. Her affairs have been casual and she believes indifference is the secret to surviving love. But that indifference changes dramatically as she finally falls hard for young French Naval Officer Vincent Perez (Jean-Baptiste Le Guen). She throws herself at him as he draws away and discovers she is not enough for Vincent.
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