DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Marat/Sade
Marat/Sade
MGM // R // July 24, 2001
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted August 14, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The full title of Marat/Sade is "The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade." It's a film version of a play presented as being written by de Sade (for whom sadism is named), and acted out exactly as if it were performed by the inmates of the insane asylum where de Sade spent his last years writing plays for them to perform. If you think that this sounds a little too bizarre to be an enjoyable movie, you're half right. To be exact, it's much too bizarre.

I'm willing to concede that I may not be precisely part of the avant-garde audience that this film is aimed for, but I'm not completely lacking in culture. The fact that Marat/Sade was performed by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Company made me actually look forward to seeing what interesting things they did with this admittedly odd-sounding premise. Unfortunately, while this film hits the heights of "bizarre," "grotesque," and "pointless," it never even approaches "interesting."

Half a musical, Marat/Sade tells its story (such as it is) primarily through songs sung by the inmates, interspersed with speeches on philosophical subjects from de Sade (Patrick Magee) and Marat. Over the agonizing course of two hours, the last days of Marat are acted out, until at the end, the inmates turn against their audience in an orgy of violence that is both pointless and repugnant.

It's quite likely that the filmmakers didn't intend that Marat/Sade be precisely "entertaining." However, to be worth watching, a film has to give something to the viewer. If it doesn't entertain, it has to provide something else: some sort of meaning, an insight into a person, a place, or a time, or at least some aesthetic elements that can be appreciated for their own merit. Marat/Sade has none of these.

Picture

Marat/Sade has "low-budget" stamped all over it. With a noise-filled, dull-looking image, the film shows that it evidently didn't merit any sort of cleanup, much less restoration. The 1.85:1 transfer is non-anamorphically enhanced.

Sound

Again, low-budget problems strike again. The mono soundtrack is muffled at times and harshly blaring at others. Between those two extremes, it's generally muddy-sounding.

Extras

A trailer is the only special feature offered on the disc.

Final thoughts

If this movie has a point, I haven't the faintest idea what it is supposed to be. It's not enjoyable; it's not interesting; it's not even particularly well done in terms of visual imagery. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to write to the studio and request that they refund not just your money, but the time you spent watching it. Don't bother even for a rental.
Popular Reviews
1. Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition
2. Fargo: Remastered Edition
3. Angry Birds Toons - Season 01 Volume 02
4. Touch of Evil - Limited Edition
5. The Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Crack Ups
6. Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series
7. Star Trek: Enterprise - Season Four
8. Demons
9. Escape From Tomorrow
10. The Rise and Fall Of The Clash


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use