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Zen [DVD]

Rufus Sewell , Callum Blue , John Alexander    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
Price: 6.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Rufus Sewell, Callum Blue, Caterina Murino, Julie Cox, Valentina Cervi
  • Directors: John Alexander
  • Writers: Simon Burke
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Jan 2011
  • Run Time: 270 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004AP9X0Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,180 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Set in and around Rome and based on the best-selling novels by the late Michael Dibdin, Rufus Sewell stars as the fictional Italian detective Aurelio Zen. Vendetta, Cabal & Ratking will feature many of the combined attractions of Italy and the Dibdin novels--thrilling investigations, fun, passion, warmth and beautiful people.

Product Description

Rufus Sewell stars as the classic Italian detective, Aurelio Zen in three feature length dramas based on the best-selling books by Michael Dibdin. Vendetta, Cabal and Ratking follow the charismatic Zen around Rome as he investigates murder and kidnapping, whilst negotiating the constantly shifting political terrain of his job, his country and of course, his romantic life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - don't understand why BBC dropped it 28 April 2011
This brief series was for me absolutely fantastic. Brilliant writing, intelligent and intriguing plots, great acting from the leads and significant guests, Rufus Sewell in particular, in some stunning and captivating locations. In fact, this has to be one of my favourite drama series of the last few years. I have watched the three episodes several times now. Everyone involved in making Zen should be very proud, it is a work of art.

I can't believe the BBC are not continuing with this series - a huge mistake I feel and one that they should rethink pronto. What are we paying the licence fee for? This isn't just another male detective series; it will be remembered long after the likes of George Gently have faded into obscurity. It's not as if it didn't have viewers, it averaged over 5 million and everyone I know who saw it thought it was very good.

Come on, BBC, please rethink your decision and commission a second series! Support Zen by buying the DVD!
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153 of 156 people found the following review helpful
This is a high-quality drama series produced for TV based around the detective books by Michael Dibdin about a detective called Zen who works in modern day Rome. Each 90 minute episode is a cut above the usual fare for TV detectives; these are effectively full length feature films which happen to be made for television.

Each episode is a stand-alone story based on Dibdin's early Zen books, and they benefit from Dibdin's careful character development and intriguing plots. The stories have been sympathetically adapted for the screen, keeping much of Zen's idiosyncratic behaviour and his delightfully dry wit. Although the crimes are often grim and the danger to Zen and his comrades is very real, these films incorporate a light, almost playful touch (especially as his office romance develops) which makes this series far less gruelling to watch than the recent Wallender adaptation.
Filmed in Rome, the camera work is very stylish, although not stylised. It makes the most of Rufus Sewell's good looks and his ability to wear a very sharp suit, and he perfectly portrays Zen's air of puzzlement when he has to deal with corrupt authority, the bureaucracy of the Italian police, the heavy hand of the Vatican, his wife who wants a divorce, office politics, gangsters with sawn-off shotguns, living with his mother, and seducing a beautiful secretary who has taken something of a shine to him. The first story, Vendetta, is not the strongest of the trio; Zen's artful talents come to the fore in Cabal, and Ratking is by far the best episode.
My only problem with these films is the somewhat weird attitude to local accents. The scripting is all English, and Zen speaks with a neutral accent.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen 10 - 0 Thorne 8 Feb 2011
Having survived (just) the grim awefulness that was the Thorne 2 parter this was a very welcome relief !!
I confess I had never heard of Zen and so came to this as a dewey eyed virgin..
..It was a delight,filmed in and around Rome it had plenty of authentic atmosphere without becoming a travel promotion,developing story arcs - Zen's Affair/the Mysterious Cabal/Devious Political Machinations all wrapped up in interesting stories.
I found the first episode "Vendetta" the weakest and to start with Rufus Sewell's Zen a bit of a plank ! The first episode in anything tends to be the most difficult, but by the end I was well on board and appreciating the understated,wryly amusing Zen.
As said elsewhere I also found the use of British regional accents a bit disconcerting,after a while you get used to them but why do it in the first place ? OK you don't want it to sound lika da italiano ica-cream sales convention but .... By the way I had to laugh at the puzzled comments that two of the female leads had Italian accents - well thats because they are Italian !
I would strongly recomend watching the "making of world of Zen" feature (but only afterwards !) ,as good as an extra episode and the sheer joy of making Zen comes across very strongly..
If you like warm, intelligent,interesting crime drama then this is a Pizza to savour.....If you prefer cold greasy chips,well,back to Thorne.
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a scruffy anorak in sight 18 Jan 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree with another reviewer - a cut above the norm. Not a scruffy anorak in sight, no seedy housing estates, not a hint of the 'f' word, just elegant surroundings (yes I have been to Rome and I do know there is another seamier side) elegantly dressed people, even just passers by in the street. So refreshing. Great throw away lines, subtle humour, clever plots and Rufus et al casting brilliant. Hope there are many more in the BBC pipeline - get rid of all those dreadful reality shows and dismal soaps.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looks like we've had our Zen moment... 20 Mar 2012
Admission time - I loved this series. I liked it as much as "Sherlock" too.
Maybe I'm the only one, but I found the dialogue rather muffled and difficult to follow in the first part and I kept asking my partner "What did he say?" - not an attractive trait. I am not even remotely deaf.
On the second time of viewing I enjoyed it more having memorised all the Italian names and turned the volume up a few notches. Personally, I had no problem with the regional accents and can't really understand the complaints about that. Perhaps people would prefer to watch "Allo, Allo".
The stories get steadily better and the intrigue gradully builds. The cinematography is stunning and the Italian Tourist Board must be delighted.
It's such a pity the BBC have decided to cut it loose. Danny Cohen must be a twit. The stated reason was "there are too many male crime fighters on TV". 12 months later, there are still lots of male crime fighters on TV, but alas no Zen.
This series has plenty of strong, interesting female characters, so I don't quite see what the problem was. The hefty budget may have had more to do with it...
Rufus Sewell et al should feel proud of this work. - The dvd set has a a nice making-of featurette which was interesting too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Three little gems
Great locations, great plots, great acting and what does the BBC do but drop it! These are noy your ordinary detective stories, there's always a twist and slightly dodgy unresolved... Read more
Published 19 hours ago by R Dutton
4.0 out of 5 stars some fun plot twists
Visually stunning, well-acted, some fun plot twists. I'd recommend.
Published 12 days ago by E. Anson
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Wallender
Why did the BBC only make 3 episodes? Better than Wallender.
Published 1 month ago by ajc
Aurello Zen is a Venetian detective with integrity, irritation to high-ups in Rome where corruption abounds. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. D. L. Rees
4.0 out of 5 stars A great series!
I can't understand why they only made one series of Zen. A great series!
Published 1 month ago by John Brittain
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series -
loved the series, loved the locations, sorry there won't be another series. Like the interaction between the Italian language in the background and English as the main
Published 2 months ago by Julia Barnes
4.0 out of 5 stars different
More serious and quieter than American detective series. I also like the setting. Good actors too.
A pity the BBC stopped after three episodes.
Published 2 months ago by elly
5.0 out of 5 stars If Ripper Street gets saved, why not save some quality too?
They advertise a lot of Montalbano on the Aurelio Zen page, both Italian (though the former is Sicilian, the latter Rome-based). But the two are significantly different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Papa Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen - a chance missed
I really liked this series and felt it should have continued.
The BBC should try to re-start the show, but only if Rufus Sewell can do it.
Published 3 months ago by Ms. Susan Chorley
5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoy the Zen books
I appreciate the timeliness and efficiency of this supplier. Needless to say I am very pleased with my purchase and thank them
Published 3 months ago by warwick smith
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