I'm not really a drama hound, and I think movies that get a good reputation when they happen to be about cheating is a little on the odd side. That being said, Unfaithful is a movie that was able to hook me from beginning to end, despite the fact I don't tend to love sitting down with a depressing film that makes me crawl inside my skin. In many ways, this movie is one of the best heartbreaking drama's I've ever seen, and in other ways, it's probably more messed up than the likes of Saw or Hostel. I know that it sounds like I'm comparing apples to coffee pots here, but this film made me feel twisted both mentally, and emotionally.
Edward and Connie Sumner are living what's seemingly a perfect life together. They even have an eight year old son. Although things seem to be just fine and dandy on the surface of a family photo, their lives have become plain and ordinary. They're stuck in the all too familiar rut of routine, something that many people can relate to I'm sure. The passion has gone out of their marriage, and although Edward doesn't seem to have a big problem with the way things have been going, it seems that Connie has merely been living on auto pilot.
Connie doesn't truly realize the warning signs behind doing the same things day in and day out, without having any meaningful quality time with her husband. It's not until a windy day unwillingly makes her a damsel in distress that Connie realizes what she's been missing. A knight in shining armor comes to her rescue, and there are things she feels around him that she hasn't felt for a very long time. He's hot, he's smart, he's impulsive, and it's not long before she finds herself seduced by this stranger.
Instead of letting stay in the past as a mistake, Connie continues to see the stranger. She becomes obsessed with how she feels when she's around him, to the point where she thinks of nothing else but getting away from home to spend time with him. Unfortunately her husband starts to catch on that his wife is having an affair, and the pain he feels when he learns of his wife's cheating ways leads him to do something he never thought he was capable of.
As I said, this movie had me in knots throughout its entirety. As a family man myself, I can't even fathom the idea of my wife doing this kind of thing behind my back. Watching Connie run away to her seducer every chance she got made me feel ill, but the kicker is that I almost wanted their relationship to work at times! She's been neglected through the same ole' ho-hum routine of her marriage, so when I saw this woman getting some real thrills through lust and passion, I was sort of... happy her! It's sickening, isn't it? It's not as if Connie's husband was abusive or anything, he was just taking care of business so he could take care of the family!
My emotions were constantly swaying back and forth, back and forth. One minute I'm feeling heartbroken, the next I'm feeling exhilaration, in another I find myself incredibly turned on with the unbelievably steamy sex Connie's having, and last but not least, my heart stops in suspense until the film is finally over. Whew! Was it as good for you as it was for me?!
As twisted and terrible as it is, there's a great story being told through this film, and there are some lessons that can be learned from it as well! None of it would have been possible without some great leads however, and that's exactly what we have. Richard Gere is perfect as the hard working, yet clueless husband, and Diane Lane is able to bring her character dynamic life. We see her 'happily' living day after day, getting by on doing the same thing over and over. When she meets her seducer however, you can see how excited, yet afraid, she truly is. Eventually Diane's character overcomes that new fear and breaks out of her shell, constantly looking like a giddy little school girl in love. It's as if she's a completely different person! Richard Gere isn't just a one note pony either though, as his character needs to visit a very dark place in his heart to the point of no return, and he's able to make every second of it believable.
If you want to sit down and watch a film that's going to drag you through almost every possible emotion in your lockbox of feelings, Unfaithful might be the devious, exhilarating movie that you're looking for!
Unfaithful is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is encoded at 1080p using the AVC codec.
I was honestly expecting a video transfer that was nothing more than a slight improvement over the DVD. True, this film was from 2002, but it's not exactly like it was a really high profile film or anything. I'm glad to say that I was wrong, and that the transfer is pretty solid overall.
This film isn't exactly a bright and lush looking one. Instead, there are a lot of muted colors, and the overall feel and tone of the film is dark. The black levels are flawless, never leaving the film looking too dim where it shouldn't be. When the film does offer something on the screen that requires some excellent contrast for the sake of not looking washed out, the blacks hold strong and true. The skin tones also appear to be spot on.
I was surprised to see just how much depth and detail this transfer offered. Without a doubt, this is a pretty significant upgrade from the old DVD transfer. If you're a fan of this film, then you're going to be pleased with what this disc has to offer. This film relies heavily on the mood set by the look of everything from the surroundings to the lighting, and it's all presented in the way that was intended.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is also an incredibly fine representation of how the film should sound. On top of all the detail that went into the film visually, the score for the film is equally as important, and the DTS track brings it to life with magnificence. The score has never sounded as clear or full as it does on this Blu-ray, and it's almost like watching this film again for the first time! I never saw this in the theaters, and I can only imagine what I heard was just as good as what I would have heard there. To top it all off, the film is heavy on the dialogue, and there's not a single thing wrong with it throughout its entirety.
Full Length Audio Commentary by Director Adrian Lyne - Lyne does a nice job at telling the audience what they want to hear without being too boring. He doesn't focus on any particular subject for more than its welcome, which is a problem a lot of Directors seem to have. Once in a while somebody gets way too in depth with the technical discussion or something, you know how it is! Lyne however spends time wisely by talking about the thought process behind making the film, working with the actors, as well as the technical aspects of the film.
Scene Specific Actors' Commentary - Olivier Martinez and Diane Lane sit down to discuss some of the things they had to go through while filming certain scenes, and although it's nice to have the actors perspective on some form of commentary, it's not particularly good. Olivier doesn't offer that much to the conversation and Lane does most of the talking. It would have been nice to have them interact with each other a bit more.
11 Deleted Scenes with Optional Director's Commentary - The film was cut together almost flawlessly in my humble opinion, so it's no surprise to see why the scenes here didn't make the cut. Lyne once again does a great job at discussing these particular scenes, and is worth listening to.
The Charlie Rose Show - Interview with Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Adrian Lyne - If you can't swallow commentaries, then this is the supplement for you. This sit down is light-hearted and fun, and at almost 20 minutes in length, there's a good amount of information here for the casual fan.
Behind-the-Scenes Featurette: An Affair to Remember - This appears to be a promotional piece. Gere, Lane, and Lyne all once again discuss the film's story, as well as some of their experiences on the set.
Editing Featurette - If you've never really thought about what goes on in the mind of an editor while trying to piece together a scene, this is a fairly informative discussion with Editor Anne Coates to fill you in!
There are also come interviews with the cast, as well as some Director's script notes. They pretty much cover all the information that's been given in the prior supplements though.
Pretty much all of these extras are already available on the DVD, but although there isn't anything new here, I really don't see how any additional features are needed.
Unfaithful is seductive, thrilling, and intense. A movie about an affair doesn't exactly sound like the most exciting thing you should check out, but Unfaithful is definitely an affair to remember. It will pull on your heart strings while making you feel worry in the pit of your stomach. The story is perfected by the performances of everyone involved, and great attention has been paid to setting the dark tone of the film through sight and sound. This is a film I have no problem highly recommending, or the Blu-ray release for that matter! The video and audio is superb, and although the extras aren't really anything new, they're as adequate as they can possibly be. If you haven't had the opportunity to see Unfaithful for yourself, make your first experience with the film this Blu-ray disc!