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L'Annee de Tous Les Dangers (The Year of Living Dangerously)
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.