The Series (4/5)
In 1940 Occupied Paris, France, A group of young people leave student protests and join the growing Resistance movement. Lili (Pauline Burlet) is one of the leaders of the teens and she works for the Groupe du Musee de L’Homme museum. As the teens fight for their freedom and country, their lives will be changed forever as the war rips on through and the secret SS spies get closer. Will Lili and company be able to survive long enough to be helped by the United States?
RESISTANCE (2014) is a 6-episode mini-series for French TV. In many ways, the series is on the level of many of BBC’s latest hits, with big production values and excellent writing. So, seeing a French example is fascinating. As a series, RESISTANCE is fast paced and doesn’t stop often for air, as four years of history are loosely retold. The tone and writing also set this series apart from other Teen centered dramas. The characters never seem cartoonish or unrealistic.
From the beginning of the first episode, the series is air tight with suspense. From the student protesters being chased by Nazi soldiers to a violent gun fight in a printing press, The series hits hard and fast. The series is huge in scale with many locations, from the French countryside to the coast by Spain. None of the sets look cheap and everything feels real and lived in. Even the slower scenes are filled with detail such as the dust on typewriters and the little splashes on coffee cups at the café. Action set pieces are well choreographed and not overly flashy. On the writing side, dialogue scenes are mostly on point with a lot of exposition covered in a natural way or on quick text bars like most US cop shows. Each episode stays fresh with plenty of twists and turns. As for the cast, the standouts are Pauline Burlet (LA VIE EN ROSE) and Tom Hudson (Luc Besson’s THE FAMILY). Both characters go through a whole mess of trouble and they show the crippling effects of living through a nasty war.
RESISTANCE comes with a French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital track. The sound mix is crisp with no noticeable issues or sudden drops in volume. The soundtrack has some hollow sounding sections. The sound effects are finely mixed and doesn’t distract from the rest of the mix. The series comes with easy to read white English subtitles. There’s three region 2 DVDs, with Two episodes are included on each disc.
The series comes with a decent 1080p HD transfer. The image is soft during night time scenes and most of the train station sequences. For a mini-series, the look of the show is cinematic and big in scope. The rest of the picture quality varies. The black levels are smooth but not as sharp as they could be. There’s no grain or digital issues. Most of the picture is a mix of greys and whites, and the series never looks muggy or cheap.
There’s no extra features included.
RESISTANCE is a very engrossing period drama with some high production values for Television. The scripts juggle many characters without losing steam. Eureka! Has put together a good-looking transfer for the complete series, that more the makes up for the lack of extras. Recommended.