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Westlake Entertainment Inc. presents
The Affair (2006)

"I couldn't wait to see her after school that day just so I could see her face look happy again. She never came back."
- Jean (Kelsey Oldershaw)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: January 18, 2007

Stars: Kelsey Oldershaw, Andy Mackenzie, Horatio Ledon
Other Stars: Maree Cheatham, Barbara Kerr Condon
Director: Carl Colpaert

MPAA Rating: R for (nudity and strong language)
Run Time: 01h:39m:33s
Release Date: July 25, 2006
UPC: 798622340528
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ CB+C- C-

DVD Review

When you sit down with a movie called The Affair, there isn't a whole lot of mystery as far as plot expectations go. One would venture to guess that such a film would involve a married couple that is torn apart by one or both partners' foray into someone else's bed. Such a story is exactly what we get from this 2004 film from director Carl Colpaert, who tackles this familiar subject with a certain tenacity that has to be commended despite the script's many shortcomings.

Jean (Kelsey Oldershaw) is a housewife who is sick of the overbearing ways of her husband, Paul (Horacio Le Don). When she meets Viggo (Andy Mackenzie), and realizes that he is nothing like her husband, Jean is attracted to him, and they are soon embroiled in a torrid affair. Despite her new found lust for Viggo, Jean can't stay away from Paul. She is forced to choose between the men and herself when a key moment occurs, and it's this choice that could change Jean forever.

Starting off by praising a film for the way it looks often spells doom for its other aspects, but in the case of The Affair, its wonderful cinematography simply has to be praised. Despite suffering from the inherent drawbacks from being shot on video, the actors benefit from excellent lighting techniques and some expert framing by Colpaert. Oldershaw looks particularly stunning, and, as the film's driving force, exceeds expectations with her performance. The rest of the mostly no-name cast is excellent as well, with the male leads giving convincing performances and avoiding the clichés that characters in "affair movies" often exhibit.

Unfortunately, the look of the film was brought up first as a means of delivering the good news before the bad. This story suffers greatly from characters that aren't fleshed-out enough to get the audience to fully invest in them. There isn't enough historical information given as to why Jean and Paul are so bitter towards each other. If we had even an inkling, aside from their personality conflicts, as to what drove Jean into Viggo's arms, we might even be able to feel sorry for Paul. There's simply no way to feel sorry for that horrible, heartless jerk, though, and if we can't feel even in the least bit sorry for the person being cheated on, then how can we sympathize for the cheaters. This is the ultimate audience conundrum.

Despite the character flaws, the story is strong enough to hold our interest for the entire film. We get plenty of clichés though, that ultimately lead to a predictable finale. These events that lead up to the ending turn out to be a disappointment, as the major twist that occurs is both unbelievable and an easy way to wrap things up. There is a nice final reel, though, so all is not completely lost. It'll be interesting to see if Colpaert can fix some of The Affair's shortcomings with his new film, G.I. Jesus. The title sure sounds promising; I just hope the promise that Colpaert shows in his adulterous low-budget indie translates to bigger and better things in the near future.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This is a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, and, while it does do the amazing cinematography justice, I can't help but dream of how much better things could be had this been an anamorphic presentation. There is some grain here and there, but this is kept to a minimum, allowing the sharp, wonderfully illuminated images to jump off the screen. Contrast and black levels are sharp, and the colors are nice and bright.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is nothing spectacular, but it does the job for this dialogue-intensive picture. Everything's crisp, clear, and well-mixed, but there is a problem when listening to the audio commentary track. This exhibits an annoying whine sound that is hard to ignore, making our enjoyment of this track extremely difficult.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director Carl Colpaert, producer Edward Oleschak, and cinematographer Frederic Goodich.
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Slideshow
Extras Review: A few extras are available here, including an audio commentary with director Carl Colpaert, producer Edward Oleschak, and cinematographer Frederic Goodich. We learn a lot about the technical aspects of filming The Affair, but the best bits involve candid on-set stories about the cast and crew.

There's a pair of deleted scenes, including one with Jean having an ultrasound, the film's theatrical trailer, and a five-minute behind the scenes look at a day on the set.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

It can't hold a candle to Fatal Attraction or Unfaithful, but The Affair is a decent tale of infidelity. If the writing had been a bit more fine-tuned and the characters more developed, we might have a more fulfilling story on our hands, but Westlake's DVD gives a wide audience a chance to judge the film for themselves.


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