HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
    The Weight of Water (Rental)
    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 109 mins . MA15+ . PAL


    This story, told so cleverly and cleaved down the middle, doesn’t exactly deliver a twist ending, but it does deliver a starkly compelling mystery set both today and 100 odd years ago.

    Taken from the novel by Anita Shreve, who has created a possible account of an actual historical murder and blended it with a fictional modern parallel story, The Weight of Water is a haunting a subtly lyrical tale. Pulitzer Prize winning poet Thomas Janes and his wife Jean visit with his brother in the vicinity of the old murder site. Photographing the site for an article, Jean is drawn into the original mystery and soon concocts a theory of her own that is very different to any historical ones mapped out. It seems a woman escaped a spurned lunatic who killed her sister and her sister-in-law, later to reveal his identity and send him to the gallows. However, much speculation about the original trial still exists and as Jean spends more and more time investigating the case, more and more of her own and Thomas’ life is brought into the light. Thomas’ brother’s partner is obviously enraptured with Thomas and this casual flirting on her behalf is enough to send the two into an introspection of their own relationship and the reasons they took the weekend away together to begin with.

    The Weight of Water is a slow-burning release of information that necessitates attention, though that attention is rewarded by brilliant performances and a strangely hypnotic story. Told in a very dreamy manner, the story unfurls at a nice steady pace that grows to the climax in which both stories briefly entwine.

    I thoroughly recommend this for anyone after a thoughtful and haunting film that delivers facts in a manner that will require attention, rather than a less intricate film in which facts are clumsily dropped in our laps.


    The video presentation of this 2000 film is quite impressive with a slightly off-razor picture that captures the brutal climate of the islands quite clearly. The colour palette is earthy and vitreous, merging the earth tones with the aqueous to create the nautical slash island theme nicely. Flesh tones are fairly pallid, though this is deliberate I imagine with the Norwegian immigrants taking up most of the cast. Shadow detail is good and blacks are true and the only time we suffer any grain is deep into the end during a particular night shot. In all, another great Buena Vista transfer.

    Strangely, we only receive a Dolby Digital 2.0 setup here, though this is stretched into all the surrounds. Mind you, some nicer underwater sounds might have been good in the surrounds, as would the storm of the ending. Dialogue is sometimes a little garbled and requiring of the subtitles, but this is mostly due to accents and mumbling rather than poor delivery. Music by David Herschfelder is both resonant and ethereal, ably supporting the story and contributing to the compelling mystery of the film. Even if only in 2.0, the sound package here is still pretty good and does its job more than adequately.

    There are no extras here at all, having all floated out to sea, though I should look forward to a retail release perhaps having a commentary from the director, which would be very nice. Even a cast commentary would be cool, though a film of this sort rarely gets that sort of treatment, preferring to stay a little more mysterious.

    If available on your local video store shelves and you’re after a subtle mystery with steady and solid performances, you could do much worse than picking this up. Perhaps not to everyone’s tastes, this is still an interesting and compelling film beautifully shot and directed. Entirely recommended.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3979
  • Send to a friend.
  • Do YOU want to be a DVDnet reviewer? If so, click here

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   And I quote...
    "A haunting and lyrical 100-year-old mystery is paralleled with a latter day story of lives scarred by grief and guilt in convincing fashion."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-T29S32S 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Jules Faber

    Narrow Margin
    "Gene Hackman as an action star? It happened… "

    A King in New York: SE
    "Taking a poke at too many demons makes this film a little stilted and not among his best works"

    A Zed and Two Noughts
    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

    Blake's 7 - The Complete Series One
    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

    Heavens Above
    "While not amongst some of Sellers’ more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of them…"

      Related Links
      None listed


    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5