Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tonight, Golden Curls, discover the romance!, 22 July 2012
This review is from: The Lodger - includes 2012 Soundtrack CD [DVD] [1927] (DVD)
So. Do you come to read this review from having an interest in Hitchcock or Sawhney? Well, I write this as someone who has a strong interest in the former and until yesterday hadn't heard any of Sawhney's work.

The film is what it is - a seminal part of the Hitchcock catalogue with hints all the way through of cinematic and plot traits that will be seen again and again in his later work. The acting reflects the style of 1926, containing both beautifully fully expressive moments in equal measure with those that we'll now see as being hammed-up beyond belief. Nevertheless, the film's place in history cannot be denied.

As an owner of the previous 2000 VHS re-master, it must be said that this is vastly superior in every way. The print has been completely cleaned so that you can now see the glint in the characters' eyes. Equally important, the tints that that were such an intrinsic part of setting the film's mood have been lovingly restored. Now, it is not only a black and white film, but a blue, pink, yellow and brown one too.

But the real plus here is the new score. The previous score by Jody Talbot was workmanlike and appropriate but this new score is more distinctive and brings out what for me are the two overriding strengths of Hitchcock films, the suspense naturally (with (too?) many tips of the hat to Bernard Hermann), but also the romance. The introduction of two songs to express the romance during the chess game scene and the death of the sister is very bold. Doubtless, some will feel that the moods they invoke are inappropriate as an official accompaniment to an 85 year old film. The lyrics also add a major amount of new narrative information that may not accord with Hitchcock's original intended interpretation. However, this must have been sanctioned by the BFI and I must say that they work for me! Now, this is all going to come down to personal taste but I'd say they are the highlights of the work. The marrying of music and image during `Daisy's song' is exquisite (brought a tear to my eye) and could, I suggest, be a music video `MTV hit'.

Well done everyone connected with this work. Now I must go to check out more of Sawhney's work!

PS. The DVD comes with a 2 disc CD set of the soundtrack. Not sure why you can't buy the DVD only, but there you go - that's marketing!
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