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Chloe (2009) Print E-mail
Monday, 26 July 2010
ImageIt is a rare thing to find a quality independent film.  Usually they are so bland or full of the filmmakers own inside jokes that no one in the audience understands them.  "Chloe" is precisely the opposite.  It shows what independent films can be under the right director and cast.  While the mainstream audience can easily immerse themselves in the film, it is filled with thematic elements and contrasts that will appease a great number of film enthusiasts.

"Chloe" is more than an erotic thriller.  It approaches a true work of art.  Once seen, it is easy to seen how this film could have turned were it to come from someone else.  However, Atom Egoyan does a terrific job of demanding the most from his actors and staying true to his vision.  This film has not been popularized for the masses.  What makes this film unique in this day and age is that it is cohesive.  One scene doesn't just lead to another.  Everything blends together in a near perfect formula.

In "Chloe," Julianne Moore plays a doctor, Catherine Stewart who lives a fairly typical home life with a teenage, rebellious son and husband who is a college professor (Liam Neeson).  As time goes on Catherine grows suspicious of her husband's behavior, the constant flirting and late nights.

Contrasting Catherine is Chloe (Amanda Seyfried).  Chloe is a woman who can make all your dreams come true.  Essentially she is a high-class hooker, though she is never called that throughout the film.  She is comfortable about her body and upfront, always speaking her mind.  Catherine remains a shut-in, using Chloe to express her thoughts and feelings.

Catherine hires Chloe to see if her husband is cheating.  Basically, she just wants Chloe to have a chance encounter with her husband to see what he would do.  However, one thing leads to another and soon Catherine's life is out of control and she can't stop it.
I won't spoil the progress of the film.  There are enough lies and deceitful behavior in this film to fill a room.  Sadly, the film is not perfect.  It gets so wrapped up in its themes that the end comes a bit fast and poof, it's over.  It will fill unresolved to many and that is where the independent filmmaking takes over.  It is certainly not made to be a Hollywood feature.  While I'm not big on film endings having to fit the stereotypical mold, this one leaves one feeling a little unfulfilled.  However, after mulling the film over, the ending seems to fit better than when initially watched.  Still, most viewers will not give the ending a second thought.  Just be warned that the end could make or break this film for you.

Being an independent film I was not expecting much in the way of video quality for this disc.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The image transfer is darn near perfect.  I have a couple exceptions to the disc but they almost seem more of an intentional nature than the image quality itself.  Black levels are near perfect.  There is one instance of crush, which I only happened to catch by accident.  Contrast is warm but not overly hot.  Still, there are a couple instances in which the picture looks a bit more flat than intended.  Colors are stable and accurate and details are amazing.  This is one of those films where actors will surely not want to see themselves in Blu-ray quality.  Shadow delineation remains intact throughout the film.  Overall this is image transfer remains true to the original intentions and is great nonetheless.

The audio quality is terrific for what it is.  However, sound gets the shaft once again.  Filmmakers tend to spend all their energies on shot composition, colors, themes, etc.  So, if there was one major thing that kept me from being enthralled in this film it was the audio.  This isn't so much a transfer thing as a sound design issue.  The film just wasn't given much attention in the sound department.  The surround channels are virtually empty.  There is discreet sound emanating from the rear on less than a handful of occasions.  Only on one occasion does the music score actually spread into the rear channels.  That being said, as a front heavy mix, the audio is quite pleasant.  Dialogue is the priority here and it is always present in the center channel.  Music should have played more of an importance in the overall soundtrack given the musical themes in the film, but a couple of the concerts have nice stereo separation.  No risks were taken in the sound design so I can't really give this audio track more than the standard audio rating for being technically accurate, but disappointing in the end.

"Chloe" comes to Blu-ray with a few bonus materials that will please fans but will go unnoticed by the majority of viewers.  There is an audio commentary with Amanda Seyfried, Atom Egoyan and Erin Cressida Wilson.  This is an informative and yet relaxed commentary.  A plethora of topics are covered but nothing in too much detail.  There are a couple of deleted scenes.  "The Making of 'Chloe'" is a typical behind the scenes featurette.  The disc also comes with a trailer for the film and other Sony films.

"Chloe" is not perfect.  However, it is one of the best independent films to come about recently.  The video quality is terrific while the audio quality is more of the typical romantic comedy variety.  I recommend giving this disc and film a go.

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