Coming out on a single-disc Blu-ray package, the dramatic thriller "Take Shelter" features the story of a husband and father who is torn between questioning his sanity and exploring his visions of an impending apocalyptic storm. Set in rural Ohio, this 2011 film presents the financially challenged lives of the people from the working class and the severe case of paranoia they can sometimes face. It intertwines the elements of the paranormal and the mundane to poignantly examine how a family man gets trapped in something unlikely and inevitable.
"Take Shelter" may be a low-budget independent film, but it looks technically adequate in Blu-ray format. Some small and rare inconsistencies appear every now and then, but these are not terribly distracting to really pull down the picture's overall quality. This motion picture work delivers a cold and lifeless color palette showcasing images in grayish shades and characters with pale flesh tones. Black levels are consistently deep and inky, especially during the climax sequence.
Although digitally shot, this cinematic piece maintains a natural film-like appearance. From its gorgeously bright and serene moments to its ominously dark shots, its cinematography rightfully captures the main character's constantly evolving Midwestern landscape. Images consistently deliver a wide dynamic range with supple textures and pleasingly sharp details.
Sporting an immersive five-channel mix that aptly complements the film's visuals, the audio track is able to play around the subtleties of natural atmospherics, while also incorporating some believably deep, booming, and lingering surround elements. The sound mix features ideal spatial dimension and discrete directional effects to create a realistic and tense-filled soundscape. The chaotic parts of the track effectively bring out the terror the main character feels. Dialogue always plays smoothly at the center channel. The precise and well-spaced music becomes crucial in building the story's much-needed tension.
This Blu-ray release contains a fair amount of supplemental materials including an informative audio commentary track by director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon, a cast and crew featurette discussing the production in "Behind the Scenes of Take Shelter," actors Michael Shannon and Shea Whigwham in a Q&A session, a reel of deleted scenes, and the film's theatrical trailer. The disc offers subtitle options in English, English SDH, and French.
"Take Shelter" tries to capture the dichotomy of external pain and internal conflict through the perspective of a man at a time when his emotional stability already takes its toll on the physical and social aspects of his life. This challenging film follows the outward pressures of conformity as it clashes with the inward pressures of what a person thinks and feels is right. It is a relationship drama that maintains an intense and unpredictable demeanor through its brilliant direction and superb acting performances.
This finely paced piece inspires thought and contemplation on the ideas of fate, human perception, and societal pressure. It utilizes a mysterious tone that leads to its gripping final act. Overall, this Blu-ray release is a worthwhile package that provides a strong audio-visual presentation and interesting supplements for a more meaningful viewing experience.
- Arts & Entertainment