Chosen DVD Review

  • Actors: Harvey Keitel, Luke Mably, Ana Ularu
  • Director: Jasmin Dizdar
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 93 minutes


        Despite a familiarity to the narrative, many plot-holes, and a cliché bookend sequences with an elderly man telling the WWII war story, Chosen features enough competent filmmaking to forgive the many screenplay problems. We have seen many war movies like this in the past, and Chosen doesn’t attempt to re-invent the wheel, but it does provide more of the same for fans of these movies. The scale may not be as massive as many studio war films, but this just makes the accomplishments of this lower budget movie that much more impressive.


        The story in Chosen is told by a grandfather (Harvey Keitel) to his curious grandson (Julian Shatkin), and it is rather obvious what his connection to the narrative is, despite remaining ambiguous until near the end. This story involves the exploits of Jewish Bulgarian lawyer Sonson (Luke Mably) during World War II. Despite longing to remain removed from the conflict brought by the Nazi regime, Sonson eventually becomes a leader in rebelling against the German troops.

        At first Sonson has no interest in joining the fight, wanting nothing more than a peaceful life with his pregnant wife, but his mind is eventually turned when the German authorities refuse medical attention to his ailing spouse. After their neglect takes away his family in one fell swoop, Sonson shifts his attention to a sister (Ana Ularu) taken away to a concentration camp in Poland. After walking incredible distances, Sonson takes a Rambo-like approach to getting his sister back, taking down numerous German soldiers along the way.

        Though his main concern is to save just one loved one from the violence of war and the hatred of Germans, Sonson becomes something of a rebellion leader for many Jews longing to fight against the atrocity. This begins with clever trickery and deception, butt eventually it leads to an all-out battle with guns, tanks, and grenades. The simplicity of this narrative is helped some by the fact that his sister is far from helpless, taking her own fate in her hands with a daring escape and efforts of her own against the German forces.

        There may be little need for another WWII film, but those who enjoyed movies like Defiance may appreciate this lower budget addition. The DVD release comes with a Digital HD copy of the movie, though there are no extras included on the disc itself.  

Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10
Historical Significance:  3/10
Special Features: 2/10

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