Reem, a young mother married to a jealous man, goes to Huda’s salon in Bethlehem. But this ordinary visit turns sour when Huda, after having put Reem in a shameful situation, blackmails her to have her work for the secret service of the occupiers, and thus betray her people.
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Huda’s Salon comes to Blu-Ray with a very appealing AVC encoded 1080p transfer that captures the look of the film very well. From the opening shots of the city, you are witnessing an impressive level of detail in the natural environment. Every storefront has some character to it, and the clothing of the citizens walking around has a nice level of texture. The cinematography captures the warmth of the area without getting too hot in the contrast. The picture maintains its clarity throughout with only brief instances of murkiness during a few of the more shadow-heavy scenes. Black levels are pretty strong but could stand to possibly be a bit deeper. Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout. Overall, this is quite a formidable transfer that should satisfy anyone who checks it out.
The film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track in the original Arabic that showcases quite a bit of nuance and power throughout. The dialogue is the star of the show here as it comes through clearly without being overshadowed by any of the other sounds. Even in the more frenzied situations, you never fail to understand what is being conveyed. Activity in the low end is subtle and mostly used to add a bit of texture to some environments. The score maintains a strong fidelity so that nothing ever feels anemic. Environmental sounds of the city are key to the experience, and this track brings these elements to life quite capably. The use of the rear channels to fully flesh out the world works quite well. The directionality is very precise so sounds always appear natural when coming from their respective points. RLJE Films has delivered a great track for this film. This disc includes optional English subtitles.
- Making Of Huda’s Salon: A ten-minute featurette in which the cast and creative team discuss the background of the narrative, the motivations of their character, the look of the film, the realities of the production and more.
Huda’s Salon is a story which grips you from the very beginning and rarely lets up throughout this well-paced journey. The film taps into the paranoia and political chicanery of this society and turns up the heat by grounding things in a personal context. The performances will keep you glued to the screen and cry out in frustration as these characters you become invested in have the walls cave in on them. RLJE Films has released a Blu-Ray featuring a terrific A/V presentation but not too much in the way of special features. This is a film that has seemingly gone under the radar for many, but it is well worth seeking out as it contends for one of the best hidden gems of the year. Recommended
Huda’s Salon is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.
Disclaimer: RLJE Films has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.
Dillon is most comfortable sitting around in a theatre all day watching both big budget and independent movies.