Room in Rome (UK - BD RB)
Marcus spends an evening in a hotel room with two foreign women... in HD
Two strangers, Natasha (Natasha Yarovenko) and Alba (Elena Anaya), meet in a bar in Rome and after a few drinks and playful discussion end up back in Alba’s hotel room and take things a step further.
Essentially the plot isn’t much more than that and for nearly two hours we remain in the confines of Alba’s hotel room only venturing out on the balcony from time to time and with the only real window to the rest of the world being Alba’s laptop. Because of the confines of the small room and these two strangers' fantasy that their whole life is now about what happens within these four walls, we begin to see their relationship blossom.
Now as the cover art implies, the movie is about two women who spend quite a bit of the movie naked and having sex. Yes this happens, a fair few times, but what Room in Rome is striving for is how this relationship is forming as the conversations between the two characters become realer and the sex becomes more intimate. What begins as playful games of half-truths and fantasies soon turns to emotionally driven revelations about the women’s pasts and a bonding that surpasses the one night fling where the story begins.
Shot with a romantic sentiment and with the room decorated with classical style paintings and pink and red flowers outside the windows, the surroundings and general feel of the movie makes the emotional journey a solid one and generally speaking I felt the connection these two woman found in each other. The only real distraction was some of the dialogue. In one breath the characters will feel absolutely genuine in their performances only to follow it up with a clunky line or two that you know immediately is making the conversation head somewhere different because the story is looking for a change of subject.
Despite its smallness and relatively long runtime, Room in Rome never felt like it dragged or overstayed its welcome. I wouldn’t say this was a movie affair that I necessarily wanted to succeed or one hundred per cent believed in, but I liked the focus on how quickly a relationship can form and how this one night would mean a lot to both Natasha and Alba. The two lead performances both had their own charms and struck a nice balance of natural and theatrical and it was nice to see a movie that wasn’t only unafraid of depicting lots of sex but didn’t really make it a big deal outside of what it meant for these characters.
Well, when I say all skin tones and all skin textures are very well presented in this transfer, it’s about the first time in all of my reviews that I genuinely mean all. Both the leads don’t spend all that long clothed in the two hour run time and with a few variations on lighting in the scenes there’s not too much left out. Every bit of bone structure, muscle tone, goose bump and pimple pops off the screen in HD glory. The darker scenes are really shot with an artist's eye and however sexy the scenes are there’s almost a study of the female form going on with the angles and with the warm lighting and deep shadows allowed to fill the scenes everything looks pretty great.
As I mentioned before, the majority of the film is very romantically designed with its colours and set design and it all looks strikingly good here. Countering that there’s the stark bright light of the bathroom offering a different flavour with finer shadows selling the women’s shapes and every little colouration or freckle of their skin makes the visuals seem very realistic. Also finer colours like the deep brown of Alba’s eyes become very striking against the white backdrop and when either of these girls gets tearful the light dances around their eyes to draw your attention in.
The only downside I saw in the movie was a slight bit of banding on the Rome night sky and that was really only in the night scenes but other than that it’s a pretty great looking transfer.
Really there are only two elements going on here: the women’s conversations and the score/songs on the soundtrack. From the opening scenes the songs used are incredibly well presented. The title song from Jocelyn Pook sounds strong and full of life and honestly generates the right mood immediately. The score then fills the front and rear speakers and fills out to make a fantastic sounded atmosphere and honestly I can’t knock it at all.
The dialogue is all presented in the fronts; it's strong and crisp and works whether the women are talking normally or whispering sweet nothings to each other. Beyond that there’s the odd layered atmospheric ranging from flocking birds to cars outside but honestly the track is kept to the basics and those basics shine.
Sadly there’s only the trailer (01:59 HD).
Room in Rome is a nice arty, but fairly natural approach to subject of relationships and falling in love. The two leads make it very easy to watch and even though some of the dialogue feels a little forced in places the natural approach was quite refreshing and a nice change of pace.
The disc looks and sounds great and creates the perfect mood for these two strangers and while I know for sure this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed the couple of hours spent in the room with Natasha and Alba.
Oh and pssssst... guys out there... this is two hours of two naked girls in a hotel room getting it on and stuff. It’s at least worth a rent. *wink*.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 18th October 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, PCM 2.0 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Julio Medem
Cast: Elena Anaya, Natasha Yarovenko,
Genre: Drama and Romance
Length: 107 minutes
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