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What Richard Did(2012)
Tragic and hard-hitting drama from Lenny Abrahamson. The privileged and talented Richard (Jack Reynor), along with his closest friends, are at the end of their high school years with their whole lives in front of them. But what happens that summer will change their lives forever when Richard commits an unforgivable act and is forced to confront the man that he's become.
For more about What Richard Did and the What Richard Did Blu-ray release, see What Richard Did Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on April 8, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.
Starring: Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Sam Keeley, Fionn Walton, Lars Mikkelsen
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
» See full cast & crew
What Richard Did Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, April 8, 2013
Winner of five Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA), including Best Film, Fest Director and Best Actor, Lenny Abrahamson's "What Richard Did" (2012) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original theatrical trailer; video interview with director Lenny Abrahamson; cast interviews; and and audio commentary with director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Malcolm Campbell. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The title of the film suggests that at some point the viewer will witness an important event. It is not immediately clear, however, what this event might be. This sense of uncertainty, which is one of the film's most important qualities, is maintained well into the second half – everything looks normal but the viewer senses that when it happens the event will change everything.
The camera follows closely the main protagonist, Richard (Jack Reynor, Dollhouse), a young, intelligent and handsome 18-year-old rugby player who has been accepted in a prestigious university. This is his last summer with his best friends and he is trying to spend as much time with them as possible. Everyone has a great deal of respect for Richard. His parents also stay out of his private life.
During a party, Richard is introduced to Lara (Roisin Murphy), who dates Conor (Sam Keeley), a hard drinker who likes to sing. The two are immediately attracted to each other and after the party begin dating. Eventually, Richard introduces Lara to his parents. They like her but remain somewhat reserved.
In the days that follow Richard and Lara begin spending a lot of time together. They talk about life, make love, and try to stay involved with their mutual friends. Occasionally, Lara also meets Conor. Jealousy gradually overwhelms Richard and he decides to confront Conor. When he does, accompanied by his best friends, his life takes an unexpected turn.
Loosely based on Kevin Power's novel Bad Day in Blackrock, Lenny Abrahamson's What Richard Did is about the transition from boyhood to manhood. In this film the transition is forced, very quick and tragic. The focus of attention, however, is not on the drama it creates, but on the premature transformation it initiates and the manner in which it is dealt with.
Throughout the film Abrahamson does not judge any of the main characters or their decisions and actions. Their social environment is also ignored. The approach immediately distances What Richard Did from the likes of Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park and Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin. In the second half, Abrahamson simply brings the viewer even closer to Richard and lets him observe how he attempts to cope with the pressure.
The finale is perfect. Any other direction than the one chosen by Abrahamson and scenarist Malcolm Campbell would have irreversibly altered the terrific low-key environment the film maintains from start to finish.
The young actors are impressively relaxed in front of the camera. Reynor and Murphy, in particular, are a joy to behold together. There are also a number of very powerful scenes in which Reynor is seen alone with his thoughts. Richard's father is also wonderfully played by Lars Mikkelsen, acclaimed Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen's older brother.
What Richard Did was shot with the Red Camera. Unsurprisingly, the film looks remarkably crisp and sharp and boasts a wide range of superbly saturated yet very natural colors. The beautiful minimalistic soundtrack was composed by Stephen Rennicks (Declan Recks' Eden).
What Richard Did Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Lenny Abrahamson's What Richard Did arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Artificial Eye.
Shot with the Red Camera, What Richard Did looks terrific on Blu-ray. Detail and clarity are simply outstanding. Many of the close-ups are so crisp and sharp that quite often they actually look like digital photographs (see screencaptures #3 and 4). The outdoor footage also boasts very pleasing depth and fluidity. Color reproduction does not disappoint either - there are solid, very natural cool greens, blues, browns, and grays. There are no compression anomalies to report in this review. When blown through a digital protector, the film also remains exceptionally tight around the edges. To sum it all up, What Richard Did has transitioned to Blu-ray in spectacular fashion, which is why I am convinced that fans of the film will be enormously pleased when they get a chance to revisit the film at home. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
What Richard Did Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English LPCM 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
What Richard Did is not a film that will test the muscles of your audio system, but if you appreciate naturalistic sound designs you will be impressed with the lush DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Depth and especially clarity are outstanding. Even a light breeze is instantly felt, while different nature sounds and noises can be heard from all sorts of different directions. The beautiful piano solos in Stephen Rennicks' minimalistic score also sound fantastic. The dialog is very clear and crisp and always exceptionally easy to follow.
What Richard Did Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
What Richard Did Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Lenny Abrahamson's What Richard Did is a fantastic film, one of the very best I have seen this year. There have been other impressive films that tackle similar subjects, but this is the most sincere and complete one. Life and tragedies happen exactly as depicted by Abrahamson. Artificial Eye's technical presentation is outstanding. I strongly encourage you to consider adding this film to your collections. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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What Richard Did Blu-ray, News and Updates
• What Richard Did Blu-ray (Updated) - March 21, 2013
British distributors Artificial Eye will release on Blu-ray Irish director Lenny Abrahamson's What Richard Did (2012), starring Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy and Sam Keeley. The release will be available for purchase online in and shops across the United Kingdom on ...
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