Map of the Human Heart Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 6.0
Audio 6.0
Special Features 1.0
Total 6.8

Distributor: Icon
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Reviewer: Jamie Kirk
Classification
: M15+

6.8


Map of the Human Heart

Map of 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.

As the 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.

The 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.

For a 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.

Map of 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.






 
 



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