Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 17th, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 2004
Director: Eric Werthman
Writers: Eric Werthman, Jessica Gohlke
Cast: Geno Lechner, Roger Rees
DVD released: June 26th, 2007
Approximate running time: 98 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Peter (Roger Ress) a Psychotherapist and Suzanne (Geno Lechner) a dominatrix that he has been seeing decide to take their relationship one step further by seeing each other outside of their usual sessions. Their affair soon takes a dark turn when Peter becomes increasingly more reliant on seeing and being with Suzanne who feels the relationship is moving too fast. Will they be able to find a common ground or will Peter’s obsession with Suzanne destroy the connection they share?
Going Under is a film that sees two completely different people on the surface and yet so much a like inside hooking up for a dangerous indiscretion. Director Eric Werthman who also co-wrote the screenplay handles the Sadomasochism with great subtlety and at no time does he ever let this dark subject matter ever get to explicitly graphic. Instead most of the film’s most graphic moments are mostly off screen leaving the interpolation of the characters pain in the mind of the viewer.
The film is magnificently cast with two flawless performances from its two leads Roger Rees and Geno Lechner. Rees play a married Psychotherapist who has gone to outside sources like a Dominatrix to satisfy him sexual. It is through pain that he gains his greatest satisfaction. Lechner plays a wounded soul named Suzanne whose childhood damaged her terribly and now as an adult she has gained all the power that was once forced on her via her job as a Dominatrix. Ultimately both actors give fearless performances that transcend the material at hand which ultimately makes their characters all the more believe and real. Overall Going Under is an extraordinary film about the darker sides of intimacy and its subsequent consequences, highly recommended.
Going Under is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. The source material used for this transfer is in exceptional shape as there is no noticeable print damage to be found. Colors are faithfully reproduced and flesh tones look dead on. Black levels look strong though out with details looking crisp and defined throughout. There are no problems with compression or artifacts and this release is flagged progressive scan. Overall this is another first rate transfer from Blue Underground.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a Dolby Digital stereo surround mix. Both audio mixes are presented in the films native language of English. The audio is in great shape with the both audio mixes offering similar sonic field ranges. There are no problems with distortion, hiss or nay other major sound defects. Dialog is always clear and easy to understand and follow. Music and effects sound full and evenly balanced. Overall both audio mixes offer robust sound that fully embraces the films more ambient moments.
Extras for this release include a teaser and theatrical trailer for the film and a six minute piece about dominatrix’s, fetish clothing and a public gathering of these subcultures titled “NYC Black & Blue”. Other extras include a seventeen minute documentary titled “Pushing the Boundaries” which includes comments from stars Roger Rees and Gino Lechner. Both performers are totally forthcoming about their roles and how they embraced this project. There answers are often frank and to the point. It is wonderful to see and hear actors/actresses speak so fondly about a project that is not an easy one to embrace. Their enthusiasm for this film is contagious. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with director Eric Werthman and actor Roger Ress. Both participants keep the discussion going with rarely a dull or moment of silence. They discuss the locations used, creating an authentic look for the film and working with the cast & crew. Also include with this release is a DVD-Rom extra titled “Reflections on Going Under” in which Marta Helliesen Ph.D. discuses in depth (9 pages of text) her thoughts on the film Going Under. Overall another strong release from Blue Underground.