Film and TV

Today's DVDs: The Housemaid, If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle and The Company Men

The Housemaid stars Do-Yeon Jeon and Deo-Hyeon Ahn, Sang-soo Im directed.

The set up: A young woman, working as a maid for a rich couple, is seduced by the husband and gets pregnant, which brings out the wife's evil side.

Here's what our critic Nicolas Rapold said about the movie: Despite eccentric touches, like a handheld street-shot overture and Grand Guignol Omen references, there's little difference between this story and soap-opera intrigue. [The] hectically surreal finale feels like the work of a director who wanted to end with another bang, but wasn't sure how.

Here's our take: Yes, this story has been done before and yes, Im's version is on the camp side, but it's still steamy, sexy, if not all-together suspenseful. The Housemaid is worth a look.

The Housemaid is available on Netflix today (DVD only).

The set-up: Silviu (George Pistereanu) is in juvenile detention and only a week away from release when a family situation causes him to attempt a breakout.

Here's what our critic J. Hoberman said about the movie:If I Want to Whistle is slack yet taut--tension builds whenever [director] Serban hits the narrative pause button. Even once all hell finally breaks loose, the suspense is enhanced by lengthy stand-offs, real-time delays, and pervasive confusion on how to best handle a situation gone wildly out of control. The viewer is prompted to ponder the crisis' possible (and unpredictable) resolution as well as the degree to which Silviu's freak-out was premeditated. It's a measure of the movie's success that one oscillates between two despairs--noting the abject failure of the system and the utter futility of revolt.

Here's our take:The pretty sociology student that's come to interview the inmates (Ada Condeescu) has more of a role here than might be imagined. Yes, Silviu wants to save his younger brother from their mom's insanity, but he also wants to kiss a pretty, full-lipped girl. That he can't have her just adds to his frustration - and ultimate meltdown.

There's lots of build-up, showing Silviu's living conditions and seriously dysfunctional family, but once he let's go, he's a mesmerizing madman.

If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle is available on Netflix today ( DVD and streaming).

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Olivia Flores Alvarez