the Human Heart may seem like an odd choice to give the Blu-Ray sheen.
It is a fairly little known film from 1993 retelling the life of a
Canadian Inuit called Avik which spans more than thirty years. That
being said it did bag itself a handful of AFI nominations, and while it
may not look the part it is a film that deserves to seen.
film begins, Avik is a young boy living in the arctic when a chartist
named Walter shows up to map out the uncharted regions. When Avik shows
signs of Tuberculosis, Walter brings him back to Canada and has his
nursed back to health. As he gets better he is put into a catholic
school and foster home. It is here that young Avik meets Albertine, a
young girl with an Indian mother and a French father. The two strike up
a friendship, despite the teachers telling Albertine that she can do
better than him. Years later Avik is back living in the arctic, and by
chance encounters Albertine again who is now dating Avik’s friend and
rescuer Walter. From here Avik joins the air force during the Second
World War, and is part of the bombing on Dresden. Avik never forgets
about his time with Albertine and constantly seeks ways for them to be
together, but is confronted by obstacles and his own feelings that
tragedy follows him no matter where he goes.
film boasts an epic story of love, and for the most part it succeeds.
The performances of Jason Scott Lee and Anne Parillaud are strong and
believable, yet they are almost outshined by their younger counterparts.
The young actors do a fine job of portraying two people first
discovering love, although not quite realising what it is they are
feeling. The bombing scene is also remarkable well done, and for a film
with not much of a budget, it does a great job of covering such a
harrowing scene. The love story is beset by tragedy, and is rather
downbeat. It also includes a rather odd semi twist ending that just
serves as a relentless beating of any shred of hope. Even with this
ending, Map of the Human Heart is a very effective and sometimes moving
film, especially during the scenes of young Avik and young Albertine
getting to know each other.
Blu-Ray film, Map of the Human Heart doesn’t look all that great. Having
never seen the original version, it is not clear if the Blu-Ray is a
significant upgrade of the print. The picture is constantly fairly
grainy, and shows the age of the picture. The bombing scene looks
flashy, but there is none of the sharpness one would expect from most
Blu-Ray releases. The disc has no special features.
the Human Heart may not set the high definition world alight, but the
film definitely has a strong story and good performances from its leads.
Yes, this release is definitely a case of substance over style, and that
is not necessarily a bad thing. Even though the film lacks a flashy
look, at least a small film has found its way to a medium where it can
be discovered again and again.