Nitram (Caleb Landry Jones) lives with his mother (Judy Davis) and father (Anthony LaPaglia) in suburban Australia in the Mid 1990s. He lives a life of isolation and frustration at never being able to fit in. That is until he unexpectedly finds a close friend in a reclusive heiress, Helen (Essie Davis). However, when that relationship meets a tragic end, and Nitram’s loneliness and anger grow, he begins a slow descent that leads to disaster.
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Nitram comes to Blu-Ray with a strong AVC encoded 1080p transfer that showcases the intended aesthetic of the film very well. This transfer stands out with its impressive level of detail both in the production design and the natural environments. Everything from the tiny tchotchkes in Helen’s house to the overgrown vegetation are quite impressive. The picture has a slightly diffused and hazy quality to it to presumably mark the period setting along with the unclear headspace of our titular character. Black levels are admirable but could stand to be a bit deeper in some respects. The cinematography features few pops of color with everything feeling intentionally devoid of vibrancy. Skin tones are natural throughout with some impeccable details present in certain shots. This transfer nails the look of the film in a way that should impress the audience.
The film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that is not given too much of a workout, yet manages to accomplish everything asked of it with ease. Environmental sounds are important to the experience, and this track brings this world to life quite capably. The use of the rear channels to create a three dimensional world works quite well. Directionality is very precise so sounds always present as natural when coming from their respective points. This film does not go overboard with the score, but what we have comes through with a fine fidelity. Dialogue comes through crisp and clear without burdened by any of the other sounds. Activity in the low end is subtle and mostly used to add a bit of texture to some of the more active moments. RLJE Films has delivered a great track for this film. This disc includes English SDH subtitles.
- Interviews with Cast and Filmmakers: A 29-minute collection of interview with Anthony LaPaglia, Judy Davis, Essie Davis, writer Shaun Grant, producer Nick Batzias, director Justin Kurzel and Caleb Landry Jones in which they discuss their work on this project, what drew them to the material, their experiences collaborating with one another, trying to tell this story in a respectful manner, and more.
Nitram is not an exploitative film, but it can be a very tough one to watch. Caleb Landry Jones puts forth a show stopping performance as a troubled young man who is constantly creeping further to the edge. The film can start to feel a bit repetitive in its anxiety-inducing outbursts from our focal character, but the performance is so engrossing that it is not a dealbreaker. RLJE Films has released a Blu-Ray featuring a great A/V presentation and a solid supplemental feature. If the conceit of the story is not too much to turn you away, this one is worth checking out as an honest and disturbing character study. Recommended
Nitram 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.