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on 22 October 2010
This DVD didn't disappoint when it turned up in the post. Once I had absorbed the French title of the film (L'Annee de Tous les Dangers.) on the box sleeve and followed the printed instructions supplied for selecting both the English language soundtrack and turning off the French subtitles all was well. The version of cinematic print this particular DVD has been converted from appears to be the original unaltered image quality so in parts is quite gloomy in the background in some interior scenes as compared to a version I saw this year on British TV that had clearly been digitally cleaned up. Ideally I would have liked to have known about that in the product description. However when you're watching two luminescent stars like Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson at the height of their bankability and popularity in this film, not to mention the towering perfomance of Linda Hunt as photographer Billy Kwan, gloomy backgrounds don't seem all that important. If you don't know anything about the reign of the dictator Sukarno in Indonesia circa 1965 this is a great introduction to the period. There is intrigue, skulduggery, the occasional moral dilemma, the ever present threat of sudden violence and a romance between the two leads that grows naturally and doesn't feel tacked on by a studio screenwriter. I loved it when I first saw it on TV back in the 1980s and have been searching for it on DVD ever since. It is a piece of rare quality film making with a cracking story to boot. I recommend it highly.
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on 12 April 2016
A superb film , very thought provoking. The performances of the stars are superb
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on 19 July 2012
This impressive movie contains not only a good story but also a good historical view about the situation regarding Soekarno
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 September 2011
This is one of my all-time favorite films. I recall seeing this as a student of international relations, absolutely fascinated that recent history - the end of Sukarno's regime in Indonesia - could actually form the backdrop of a film that portrays a personal and political dilemma to the viewer. It is not only a great romantic story, but also gets the viewer to think as well as learn about a historical period.

Guy, a young man eager to succeed in his only shot at a career as a foreign correspondent, appears in Jakarta during the heyday of non-alignment politics: neither capitalist not communist, but forging its own way with its one rhetoric. Though he arrives without contacts, one of whom appears to have sabotaged him by leaving without making introductions for him, he must make a go of it. To do so, he makes an unusual friend, a dwarf named Billy (played by the phenomenal Linda Hunt), who is the narrator of the story and brilliant observer while also handicapped as a person. Billy makes the connections for Guy, including an extraordinary beauty (Weaver) who works at the British Embassy. (Billy describes her as a person whose life force burns extremely bright, but who needs committed love to guard against falling into promiscuity and cynicism. It is a brilliant summation of character, one of many.) They become passionately involved as events unfold. I do not want to play the spoiler here, but a believable moral dilemma emerges during the political turmoil.

The characters in the film, in my viewing, are wonderfully three-dimensional and fascinating, from journalists to diplomats, spooks, revolutionaries, and the local people. You see extreme poverty and careers in the making, with disillusionment and hope all rolled into one. Through the film, the characters also evolve and grow, learning from their mistakes and illusions and tragedies. Of course, the romance is very very hot, one of the best portrayals I have ever seen of that great youthful passion: perhaps not meant to survive, it provides a beacon for the rest of one's life. (There is a wonderful scene where they run a curfew roadblock, laughing as guards shoot at the car and kissing with the naive hunger of youth.) I was as moved to see this as I was 26 years ago, when I saw it with a special girlfriend in Paris. The acting is uniformly excellent.

In addition, the historical context is accurately portrayed in spite of the fictional characters. While it might appear quaint to view communist revolutionaries in retrospect, the Cold War was very much alive at the time the film appeared. Underneath the events, you learn of the horrific consequences of under-development, upon which many of the characters piggyback their careers. The atmosphere comes alive vividly. I even allowed my son (9) to watch parts of this with me, explaining the violent politics and history to him.

I am very happy to own this film, and will watch it at least once a year. Perhaps it means so much to me because of the dreams of my youth, but I think that everyone can find things to enjoy in the complexity that the film portrays with such great success.

Warmly recommended.
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on 28 June 2005
"The Year of Living Dangerously" is a film that is felt as well as seen; the steaming heat and stench of the hovel lined streets, the torrential rains, and the confusion and fear of being in the middle of a revolutionary coup become very real on a sensory level. Taking place during the Sukarno regime in 1965 Indonesia, it is also a marvelous love story, and the chemistry between Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson is palpable. There are many scenes that are as if we are glimpsing a private, intimate moment, and they are both such a stunningly attractive pair.
Linda Hunt, playing a cross-gender role of a Chinese/Indonesian news photographer, won many Best Supporting Actress awards, among them the Oscar, for her superb performance as Billy. Billy sets the stage for the characters in this political thriller, using the people around him in the same way that he guides the intricate shadow puppets he is so fond of. When Guy Hamilton (Gibson) gets transferred to Jakarta as a reporter for an Australian newspaper, Billy shows him the ropes, making sure he meets beautiful British embassy attaché Jill (Weaver), knowing that love between them will be inevitable.
A brilliant re-teaming of Gibson, director Peter Weir, and cinematographer Russell Boyd, from the 1981 masterpiece "Gallipoli", this is an equally extraordinary film in its own way, and both films are works of art that get better with each viewing. Unfortunately, the recent releases of this film, whether on VHS or DVD, are of inferior quality, and do not have the clarity or color reproduction of an old VHS I used to own. Nevertheless, even a less than perfect transfer is better than nothing, and still worth owning.
Filmed in the Philippines and Australia, it has an atmospheric score by Maurice Jarre, which includes an excerpt from Vangelis' "Opera Sauvage". Total running time is 115 minutes.
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on 2 June 2013
Have contacted the seller -- this is described as having "full original English audio" but mine appears only to play in badly dubbed Spanish. (If you just hit Play, that's what you get.) No details either on playing DVD, or on box, as to how to make it play in English.

I have asked the seller "if this can be played in English, please tell me how." I will return and revise this review according to the results of that.

LATEST -- have received INSTRUCTIONS and watched this with the original English soundtrack. How you do it is: when the menu comes up, select Idiomas, then Ingles. It's a good film, surprisingly faithful to the book (except the ludicrously inappropriate casting of the two main characters), but the process of getting to the English soundtrack is a pain. However, the price does not reflect that.
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on 19 June 2017
I really like the props in this movie. It's quite realistic. The performance of all the actors is very realistic. I don't know what other people think, but I think it's a good movie. The ending was unexpected. I watched this video with my brother. The story comes from life, higher than life.
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on 13 September 2014
One of the early masterpieces by Peter Weir. A courageous and powerful, yet also poetic and visionary film set during the terrible year of the coup d'etat in Indonesia, when a fragile democracy turned into one of the most atrocius dictatorships of all times. Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver are as beautiful as ever in their career, but it's the amazing and touching performance by Linda Hall, Oscar for best male performance (although being an actress) and the visionary script and direction by Peter Weir that turn a political film into a chant of freedom and human feelings (solitude, love, drama, memories) that give us that sense of wonder and mystery which made Peter Weir such a unique director, no matter what genre, story or topic he bases his films on. When Hollywood was still capable of delivering cinema milestones
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on 22 January 2012
This is indeed a great film, and was adapted from the J C koch book it addresses aspects on all levels such as emotion tension and chemistry and above all the aura and feel of Indonesia, the acting is superb and Mel Gibson was at his best around this period The Bounty Mad max etc.
Ignore the stupidity of the review which states that this story was set in a fictional city, Jakarta is of course not a fictional city, no its the capital city of Java Indonesia, This along with the Bounty are among Gibson's greatest films
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on 16 December 2011
Don't be put off by the Spanish cover text, the disc plays in English fine. This is one of those films that everyone should have in their collection, some really amazing and understated performances by some of the finest acting talent of the 20th century...
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