A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed ...
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A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to ... See full summary »
British couple Fiona and Nigel Dobson are sailing to Istanbul en route to India. They encounter a beautiful French woman, and that night Nigel meets her while dancing alone in the ship's ... See full summary »
Kristin Scott Thomas,
A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed version of "Alice in Wonderland", with Marcello Mastroianni as the maddest of mad hatters and Roman Polanski a kinky March hare. Written by
Dan Navarro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When producer Robert Evans was trying to coax Roman Polanski to direct Chinatown (1974), he found Polanski thoroughly absorbed with this film, to the extent that he had bought a 50% share in it. Evans eventually lured Polanski by saying that whatever "What" made in its opening week, he would pay him as his salary for directing "Chinatown". Polanski readily agreed to this, expecting "What" to do well as he considered it the best thing he had done up to that point. Unluckily for Polanski, "What" only grossed $64 on its first week. See more »
Nancy's hands are well manicured throughout the movie, but quite ordinary during close-ups, when she's supposedly playing the piano. See more »
A direct quote from Polanski "My wish was to make a film without costumes first of all, preferably without clothes at all. And without catapults and stage fights. MacBeth exhausted us all to such an extent that we were truly ready to change professions." What? For the most part is a throwaway sex comedy, a film to pick up the spirits at the time depleted director - An absurd Italian Sex farce for which in Italy at least was a success.
It's no more than a series of vignettes with no real beginning, middle or end. Things just happen for no apparent reason and without any explanation. Nancy (Sydne Rome) after escaping a trio of inept rapists stumbles into a rambling coastal estate wearing little more than an napkin throughout.
Certainly a misstep in Polanski's oeuvre but it's not without its moments of genuine humour and flashes of his trademark shots. Moments of wit in the script but most of the shortcomings are in the direction itself What? Indeed were they trying to say? A running time of 2 hours does test the patience, a film for completists mainly instantly forgettable, but maybe this is what was needed to recharge the batteries to make his next film "Chinatown".
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