What?

Director: Roman Polanski


Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome

Country of Origin - Italy/France/West Germany

Discs - 1

Distributor - Severin

Reviewer - David Steigman

Date - 05/17/2016

The Film (2/5)

An American girl, Nancy (Sydne Rome) is touring Italy and is riding in a car with three men, who try to rape her. Somehow the three men, who turn out to be incompetent, fail miserably, and Nancy escapes to a Villa, where she encounters some very oddball characters and a priest. The one person that she develops a relationship with is a former pimp, Alex (Marcello Mastroianni) including a scene where he dresses up like a tiger and gets whipped by Nancy. Her clothes get stolen, including a t-shirt that gets worn by a male guest, and she is forced to wear large napkins and a male pajama top to cover her chest.

Basically What? is supposed to be a comedy with some nudity (especially with Rome) and erotica, to make the film more appealing, but itís more or less flat. It felt like a whole lot of nothing happens in 113 minutes. I didnít find it humorous or interesting one bit, and would call this a misfire from Roman Polanski, who would direct far superior films before and after this one. I will say that the music and cinematography are excellent, which at least made the movie watchable. I would recommend this to Polanski die-hards and those who like nudie comedies from the seventies.

Audio/Video (4/5)

Severin Filmsí presentation for What? is really excellent!  With its aspect ratio of 2:35:1, in 1080p with an MPEG-4 AVC Encode, What? is visually stunning, especially during the outdoor scenes. The colors are sharp, vivid and have some depth. While there are some scenes during the film where the colors arenít quite as sharp, overall the image quality is a superior effort.

There are two audio options for this movie: LPCM Audio Italian 2.0 and LPCM Audio English 2.0. No audio issues detected, dialog is very clear as is the rip-roaring music

Extras (4/5)

Severin Films provides a healthy dose of extras for What?

There are three featurettes, which are: Sydne In Wonderland, which is a candid interview with star Sydne Rome, Memories Of A Young Pianist, which is an interview with the filmsí composer Claudio Gizz and A Surreal Pop Movie, which is an interview with cinematographer Marcello Gatti. There is also a theatrical trailer and an Italian soundtrack

Overall (4/5)

If only the movie were as good as the presentation given by Severin Films, this would be impossible for any collector to not pass up. A lifeless movie has been given great life with this blu ray release. Fans of this film will be in for a real treat!