So while losers and people with bad taste are out seeing 50 Shades of Grey today, I figured that I’d review some more off the radar slightly kinky films. Both are undoubtedly better than 50 Shades of Grey. I can say this without seeing 50 Shades of Grey, as just about everything else is better than that dumb movie. So let’s get on with the reviews.
Venus in Fur
This film is based on the stage play based on the novel Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The word “masochist” actually comes from the author’s last name. But let’s get to the plot synopsis.
A stage play based on the novel is in the works, but the director is having trouble finding a woman capable of playing the leading lady. It’s getting late, and he’s just about to head home when a woman arrives very late for auditions. He doesn’t want to let her read, but she begs him and convinces him to give her a shot. It starts out funny, but from there on things get interesting. Slowly she begins taking control of everything while reading her role. She prevents him from going home to his fiance, and seems to know a bit too much about certain things, everything actually. At some point it’s not laughs anymore and surprisingly hot, or possibly still funny depending on your taste (or lack thereof). The ending confused me initially, but after I slept on it and talked about it with a friend I realized what was going on.
The acting was great. Mathieu Amalric is either an amazing actor or a submissive guy in real life, or both. He was able to replicate this look guys get in their eyes when they’re absolutely transfixed by a woman. I’ve never really seen a man do this in a movie before. He was also great at playing a guy who was in denial about what he really wanted, playing off his innermost desires as something else less embarrassing to admit to. And Emmanuelle Seigner did a really good job of playing a manipulative, controlling and possibly crazy woman without coming off as annoying or as a bitch. If I spoke French I could probably better judge their acting, but over all it was very well done. The music was also great and added a lot to the crazy mind-fuck feel the film had to it.
Why You Shouldn’t Like This:
- It’s not really a true rendition of the novel, it’s a movie about the play of a play about the novel.
- The ending confused me for about a day.
- As great as Mathiew Amalric performance was, I didn’t find him that attractive.
- If you haven’t read the novel, you probably won’t appreciate this film as much as you would, had you read the novel.
- The director, Roman Polanski, is a rapist. Just getting the word out about that since these days everyone only seems to be talking about Bill Cosby.
However, I will add that the ending was much more satisfying than the end of the novel. I found this movie enjoyable overall, but feel bad recommending it because the director is a scumbag.
This is an Australin indie film about the odd relationship between an older teenage boy, Charlie, and an older French-Australian woman, Maggie. (I’m presuming Charlie’s character was of the legal age to consent in Australia, but I’m not quite sure). It starts off with Charlie discovering that his father’s killed himself right around Christmas (but it’s the summer since they’re in Australia), he seems to have a shaky relationship with his mother, plus he has the idiot teenage boy thing going on. After he sees his mom making out with his father’s best friend at his father’s funeral he flips out. Then he takes a job as a gardener at a house down the road for Maggie, a professional dominatrix. He’s overly curious about the BDSM lifestyle and “convinces” her to let him take part in it. The film also goes into Maggie’s past a little bit, it seems child services have her young son because she had a drug problem in the past. She’s sobered up and is working to get custody back.
What I found the most odd about this movie is that Charlie isn’t really a submissive guy. He was manipulative and had several angsty teenage tantrums. Instead of being polite about getting Maggie to whip him, he breaks into her house, handcuffs himself, and refuses to spit the key out of his mouth until she makes him do so. It was more like he was curious about BDSM and wanted to do whatever he had to experience it. I didn’t think it’d be like that from the trailer. On a positive note, unlike the 50 Shades series, the movie did at least imply continuing to beat someone after they’ve used the safeword is wrong.
This was more of a story about two messed up individuals dealing with issues and trying to ease their pain by using each other. It’s not like the first half hour of The Graduate, and they’re not really a couple I could ship, despite them having some happy moments together.
Why You Shouldn’t Like This
- The relationship was kind of messed up, but I think that’s what they were going for.
- The trailer was kind of misleading.
- I would’ve liked if they went more into Maggie’s backstory, we didn’t really get that much. They also didn’t make it seem like she liked or disliked her job at all, or if she got anything out of it besides money.
- The ending was reasonable given the story, but it was just meh.
- Again, Charlie wasn’t actually a submissive guy. A true submissive guy is supposed to put his dom/domme’s wants ahead of his own, Charlie was pretty selfish most of the time. And he never got his rude behavior beaten out of him.
I’m not sure if I’d recommend this or not. It was nice to see something different, but it wasn’t especially amazing.