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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Five Senses
Five Senses
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 29, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

No, it is not a prequel to "The Sixth Sense". "The Five Senses" is a small Canadian film that won several awards during its release. The movie revolves around the interlocking stories of several people, each who focuses on a certain sense and the fear of losing that sense or attempting to regain it. The main part of the story revolves around a child who is lost after the woman taking care of her finds herself distracted by other sights in the park. When she returns, the child has wandered off.

Meanwhile, an eye doctor nearby is begining to lose his hearing and tries to experience more sounds before he goes deaf. Other stories weave and intersect, dealing with characters that seemingly have their own sense that they focus on, but there's an undercurrent that "touch" seems to be the sense that they are seeking, since all of the characters seem to be alone or seeking the right person and not finding them.

I liked "Five Senses" in many ways and in other ways, I didn't enjoy it as much. Three's an emotional scene where the man who is losing his hearing sits and listens with a woman to music. There's little said in these scenes, and yet the actor is able to strongly communicate his feelings of soon losing this sense. The scenes between these two characters worked the best for me out of the entire film. Some scenes in the film are played emotionally rather flat, and the bleak nature of some of the scenes begins to slow the movie down. This is a minor complaint though, and the film isn't always this way. There are even some touches of light romance and comedy.

Overall, there were parts of "The Five Senses" that didn't interest me; some characters and performances proved to be more engaging than others. Still, the film hits moments that work wonderfully in examining life. The story sounds a bit much, but it works, and occasionally works very well.


The DVD

VIDEO: This is the second smaller, independent film that New Line has released to DVD this week (along with "An Affair Of Love"). Although the picture quality for "Five Senses" didn't stun me quite as much as the outstanding look of "An Affair", both films have recieved better treatment than some studios give their bigger efforts. Sharpness and detail for "Five" is uniformly strong, with images looking crisp and well-defined throughout, with no touches of softness creeping in. At best, the image even has a nice depth to it.

Where "Affair" was nearly flawless, there are some very minor concerns that pop up briefly throughout "Five Senses". A few very slight print flaws appear now and then; just a couple of very tiny marks. Slight edge enhancement and a couple traces of pixelation appear, but these problems should not prove to be a distraction. Some scenes also show very slight grain. Colors look crisp and natural throughout, with some outdoor scenes providing especially colors.

SOUND: The film is presented in Dolby 2.0. Although it's limited it's still a very enjoyable audio presentation. The score is the main element of the audio, sounding clear and rich throughout. There is also nice use of ambient and subtle sounds throughout, and a full 5.1 soundtrack would have been nice for this feature, although I suppose with quieter material like this, not essential.

MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with film-themed images serving as backgrounds.

EXTRAS: Trailer and cast/crew bios.

Final Thoughts:

Positive: I'm a little so-so on some of the film, but much of it works well enough so that some may enjoy it as a rental. New Line's usual standards of strong presentations are mostly met with the audio/video quality.

Negative: A commentary from the director might have proved interesting.

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