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Insult, The

Cohen Film Collection // R // May 1, 2018
List Price: $12.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Neil Lumbard | posted June 1, 2018 | E-mail the Author


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The Insult Blu-ray Review


The Insult is an edge-of-your-seat thriller
and drama
about a conflict which arises between Tony Hanna (Adel Karam), a
Lebanese
Christian, and Yasser Salameh (Kamel E Basha), a Palestinian refugee.
The two
individuals start an argument over something relatively small which
could have
easily been resolved with a simple apology. Things go in a much
different direction.
Directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Ziad Douiri (The Attack),
this is a
strong political film about a major world issue.


Instead of resolving the conflict with an apology
shared
between them, things rapidly spiral out of control between the two men.
A giant
court-room battle begins between the two sides over insults thrown. The
reason
for their immense conflict soon becomes clear: it's less about the
insult that
was thrown (no matter how harsh) and more about a long unspoken
conflict still
dividing these two groups of people. The court battle rages on with one
turn
after another.


As the film unfolds, the story delves deep into
the background
of the conflict between Lebanese Christians and Palestinians. This film
has
much on its mind as it explores the deep wounds on both sides. It
explores war
and conflict with a clear precision. One of the film's main points is
that pain
is universal.  


Ultimately, however, this is a film about finding
common
ground and about learning how to recognize the other: understanding
that no
matter what happened in the past, both sides (the Lebanese Christians
and Palestinians)
should be able to recognize in each other their inner humanity and be
able to
see that the pain the other side feels is real.


At its core, The Insult is about
recognizing humanity
in those who might appear to be different but who actually aren't as
different
as sometimes feared. This is an important topic given the global
climate today
of rising racism and anti-immigrant groups taking foot more across the
world. Controversial
upon release in some countries, The Insult demands audiences
become
involved in this topic of conversation.


From a production standpoint, The Insult
is a
terrific effort. The cinematography by Tommaso Fiorilli (Go Home,
The
Attack
) provides a impressive backdrop to the events of the film.
The music
score by Eric Neveux (The Attack) is surprisingly energetic and
exciting,
giving the storytelling an often electronic and upbeat musical
sensibility.


The production design by Hussein Baydoun (Dawn
of the
World
) is effective and the detail on the sets is superb. Another
aspect that
is noteworthy is the precision editing by Dominique Marcombe (West
Beirut
,
The Attack).  The editing gives a
energetic
pace that never stalls whatsoever during the story.


Written by Ziad Douiri and Joelle Touma (The
Attack
, Lila
Says
), The Insult is an impressive film from a storytelling
perspective. There are countless lengthy monologues and its dialogue
heavy yet the
storytelling energy is consistent. Directed by Ziad Douiri (The
Attack
, Lila
Says)
, the filmmaking sensibility is superb and engaging. Douiri
has
excellent style and he brings out the best from the actors. This film
is
guaranteed to be a thought provoking experience for all who watch it.


The Blu-ray:


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Video:


Presented on Blu-ray from Cohen Media Group with a
1080p
MPEG-4 AVC encoded high definition presentation in the 2.35:1
widescreen original
theatrical aspect ratio.  This is an
impressive presentation of the film with strong clarity and contrast.
Colors
are also quite pleasant. As per usual for Cohen Media, the encode also
has a
high bit-rate encode which contributes to the high quality of the
video.


Audio:


The Insult is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD
Master Audio Arabic
with English subtitles. This is a faithful presentation of the original
language audio track. The Insult has an impressive sound presentation
with surprisingly
effective surround sound integration during several sequences. From the
loud
roaring sounds of the outdoors to the score music by Eric Neveux, the
audio presentation
has good depth.


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Extras:


The release includes a printed booklet featuring
photo
stills and cast/crew film credits.


Conversations from the Quad with Ziad Doueiri
and Richard
Pena
(HD, 33 min.) is an insightful interview and conversation
between the
filmmaker of The Insult and Richard Pena of Cohen Media Group.
Ziad
Doueiri explains in great depth his approach to making the film, why he
made
it, and how it was received around the world. Of interesting note,
perhaps, is
the fact Rango (yes, the animated film with the gecko voiced
by Johnny
Depp) was an inspiration . Exploring the serious themes of the film at
depth as
well, this is a must-see piece for any viewers.


Final Thoughts:


The Insult is an intense dramatic-thriller
about an
insult which brews a courtroom battle. It's about the ways in which
people can
become divided by blind hate without the ability to see another's point
of
view. It's a film filled with humanity and pathos for learning to
recognize common
humanity within others. Ziad Doueiri has directed an important social
commentary which should spark debate and conversation. Cohen Media
Group's
Blu-ray release features a quality presentation and good supplements.


Highly Recommended.



Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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