Click above to purchase "Paradise Road" at amazon.com
review by Tony Medina
Running Time: 132 minutes
Starring Glenn Close, Frances McDormand, Julianna
Written and Directed by Bruce Beresford
Retail Price: $24.98
Features: Theatrical Trailer
Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby
Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround,
English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search
Several years before Glenn Close decided to wash that man
right out of her hair as Nellie Forbush in the 2001 TV
Adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific", she
was once again involved in World War II but this time, she
was a prisoner of the Japanese.
This film based on a true stories deals with a group of
women who are held as Japanese Prisoners of War during World
War 2. The scenarios unfolds the true story of women from
different backgrounds who become united during their capture
What exists here is a common bond in the face of peril.
As in anyone's life, tragedy can bring us closer together
and no matter what social, financial or ethical background
we are from, we all face the same common grounds in the
journey called life.
In all honesty, this story which is touching can be very
difficult to watch as the dark side always looms even when
moments of bonding or made up happiness exist.
"Paradise Road" is actually a symbolic name as the road
is the road to freedom in their minds. You see, the women
bond by creating the "Paradise Road Choir." The choir is a
form of therapy as the woman fear the unknown for their
husbands and themselves. Throughout this three year ordeal,
we grow to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the women
involved and we see how they deal with the dark side and
turn it into a lighter side if only in their minds.
The performances in this film are strong and you can feel
the bond of chemistry amongst the performers. You can
honestly sit through this and walk away believing they were
who they were and not just performers playing a role.
The Anamorphic 2.35:1 Transfer is pristine. The colors
are vibrant and the sets naturally leap out on the screen
like a Kodak Picture. The sharpness and fleshtones are
natural and the jungle looks as though I am looking out a
window. The detail is well defined and the cinematography
gets it's just desserts with this beautiful transfer.
The dialogue is very sharp and sounds natural. Most of
the sound comes from the center channel speaker as this is
definitely a dialogue film. There are some battle sequences
at which the surround comes to life but throughout most of
the film, there is not much surround usage that is needed.
Throughout some background music, we hear the rear channels
but then again, the effect the sound crew was achieving
works as we are hear to pay attention to the trials and
tribulations of the prisoners. The Dolby Digital 5.1 Mix
offers very clear dialogue.
Other than a theatrical trailer, we are offered no
extras. A director's commentary would have been pleasant as
well as a featurette showing the history and the making of
If you want a slice of history, some haunting and
touching moments along with a story of survival, this film
is for you. Good solid acting, wonderful cinematography and
good chemistry bring to life the history that many of us
read and so many lived through. This is not always an easy
film to watch but then again, is the truth ever easy to
(3.5/5 - NOT included in
NOT an average)