R Dir: Neil Jordan | Image Entertainment | 104 min.
Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
George (Bob Hoskins) has just been released from prison, but he is unable to return to his previous status in the criminal realm. He was never a big time player by any means, but now that he’s spent some time in the box, he finds himself at the very bottom of the ladder, where no work at all is available. But he does manage to pick up a position, as a driver for an expensive call girl, Simone (Cathy Tyson). While George is just a naive, shy person, Simone is a beautiful woman with a sparkling personality, which causes some interesting moments between them. At first, George is uncomfortable around her wealthy, powerful customers, but as the two get to know each other more, he begins to like her more and more. Soon enough, George has fallen in love with her and despite her profession and the dangers that surround them, he would do whatever she wanted him to. And when she hatches a plan that places both of them in serious trouble, George is forced to decide what is really important to him.
Mona Lisa is a dark, unflinching motion picture and while that might scare some folks off, I think anyone who wants a powerful film should give this one a look. The storyline and character don’t offer much in terms of lightness, but then again, you can’t do a film with material like this and make it a “feel good” movie. So no, Mona Lisa won’t perk you up on a rainy afternoon, but it just might make you think a little and to me, that’s a welcome notion indeed. The cast is headed by Bob Hoskins, Michael Caine, and Cathy Tyson, but the supporting crew is also more than impressive here. In the end, Mona Lisa has all the elements you need for a great film and thanks to Neil Jordan’s direction, it all comes together in perfect form. If you can handle the dark material and want to see a terrific offbeat romance film, then by all means, give this disc a once over. This disc doesn’t show much love to the movie, with a mediocre transfer and no extras aside from the trailer, so fans won’t be thrilled.
Video: How does it look?
Mona Lisa is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. I can’t imagine this movie will ever look clean and clear, so I didn’t expect the world from this release. The print used looks rather rough at times, with dirt and debris frequently seen. The film’s drab visual scope muddies up the look even more, but there is room for clean-up here. I found detail to be passable, with some nice bright spots of clarity, but not all that crisper than a DVD. You can’t fault the transfer for all the woes, as the source is problematic, but I do think it could have been handled better.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD 5.1 soundtrack is acceptable, but offers little beyond the basics. The dialogue is clear and never hard to understand, which is great news. But the music has a flat presence and sounds inconsistent, while atmosphere is limited to the vocals and little else. Even so, the main element is the dialogue and it sounds fine. This disc also includes English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.
- (1.85:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: AVC
- Audio: DTS HD Master
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set