Wide Sargasso Sea

Wide Sargasso Sea (1993)
New Line Home Entertainment
Cast: Karina Lombard, Nathaniel Parker, Rachel Ward, Michael York
Extras: Trailer

Sensual and intriguing are probably the best words to describe ’Wide Sargasso Sea, ’ the 1993 movie by John Duigan. It is now making its DVD debut courtesy of New Line Home Entertainment in a version that contains both, the theatrical NC-17 rating, as well as an R-rated cut of the film.

In Jamaica of 1844, ’Wide Sargasso Sea’ tells the story of a young woman entering marriage with a newly arrived Englishman in order to save her family’s plantation from being disowned. Despite the marriage being arranged, she actually falls in love with the young man and everything seems to be aright in her life. But the shadow of her own childhood experiences and those of her mother catch up with her, gradually undermining the relationship to the breaking point.

The anamorphic widescreen presentation that New Line Home Entertainment is presenting on this DVD for ’Wide Sargasso Sea’ is beautiful to say the very least. Highly detailed and absolutely clean, the movie looks like a million bucks. Colors are rich and vivid, nicely rendering the lush greens of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains, while maintaining wonderful warmth in the indoors and nighttime scenes. Blacks are absolutely solid and give the image good depth and dimensionality. No edge-enhancement is evident in the transfer and the compression is free of any sorts of artifacts.

The DVD contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track that is wonderfully rich and directional. Running at a high bitrate, the track marvelously reproduces every little timbre, every nuance and every sonic texture perfectly without coloration. The DVD also contains a DTS version of the track that is equally impressive, though differences between the Dolby Digital and the DTS track are negligible. Dialogues are very well implemented and are always understandable.

As the only extras the DVD contains the movie’s trailer and some DVD-ROM content.

’Wide Sargasso Sea’ is a beautiful film with great landscapes, characters and a story that is truly intriguing. Though the DVD does not contain many extras, the feature presentation itself is stellar, and the fact that New Line gives you the chance to select the two versions of the film on the fly only adds to the good impression this disc is making. If you’re in the mood for a dramatic romance in front of some beautiful landscapes, spiced up with cultural elements, ’Wide Sargasso Sea’ is the DVD to get.