Concert, The : DVD Review

Title: The Concert
Director: Radu Mihaileanu
Starring: Aleksei Guskov, Dimitri Nazarov, Melanie Laurent, Francois Berleand, Miou-Miou
Released: 8th November 2010
Certificate: 15
Duration: 119 minutes

After a theatrical release earlier in the year The Concert is now available on DVD from 8th November 2010. The Concert is directed by Radu Mihaileanu.

Andrei Flipov was a prodigy – the celebrated conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra, the greatest orchestra in Russia. Today, aged 50, he still works at the Bolshoi, but as a cleaner. During the communist era he was fired at the height of his fame for refusing to get rid of all his Jewish players, including his best friend Sacha Grossman.

You may not recognise many of the Russian actors appearing in this film, but if you’re a Quentin Tarantino fan (I’m not personally, since he disappeared up his own ass as they say, but I do follow his films) you may recognise Mélanie Laurent, who made her breakthrough in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, While Aleksei Guskov is Filipov and he turns in a fine performance.

I saw this film as a trailer and I really liked the look of it. Despite my usual dislike of watching trailers, coupled with my dislike of subtitles this film captured my interest. So it must be good then? Well actually, yes I rather enjoyed it. It’s wacky and it’s not exactly perfect but I found it to be a fun diversion. It’s a little long at just short of two hours to be honest but I’m willing to overlook that as I had nothing better to do on the day that I watched it. But seriously, the subject matter more or least warrants the slightly extended running time and the pacing is fairly solid throughout. Radu Mihaileanu’s direction is fairly standard but he does what is required and the end result is a film that whilst being a little over sentimental is also enjoyable and effecting.

I spotted a few reviews recently in the press about The Convert and frankly I think that they are overly critical of this film. It may not be one of the very finest films but there are decent performances and quite a few decent laughs. The Russian film making industry is clearly not the largest or best equipped. I personally think this is a very decent effort. I’ve most certainly seen worse.

Extras are a bit thin on the ground but the interview with director Radu Mihaileanu is interesting. Other than that it’s just a basic trailer.

Author : Kevin Stanley