A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds ...
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A common thief (Depardieu) breaks into the house of a professional dominatrix (Ogier), and begins to help her "train" her clients. Though this world is alien to his experience, he finds himself falling in love with her. Eventually he discovers that she does this in order to support her son, and he attempts to help her out of this life, which she is not sure she really wants to leave. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
This review is for the uncut version of this film, complete with elderly gentleman having his member nailed to a piece of wood. It's obvious that for the more serious S&M scenes a body double was used for Bulle Ogier (the body double has hands that look about 20 years older than Ogier's and she was probably a professional dominatrix). Consequently it feels more like documentary footage shot in a dungeon. Combined with the real and graphic footage in the abattoir it all feels gratuitous and clearly thrown in just to 'sex' the whole thing up a bit. I'm sure at the time the shock value of this film was enough. But it's not aged particularly well. For instance, the scene at the châteaux loses it bite as it's immediately obvious to the modern viewer what's going on.
I watch a lot of art-house films, often from the 60s and 70s, and with depressing regularity the female characters get slapped about by their boyfriends. When Olivier tries that with Ariane (Bulle Ogier) she head-butts him. I don't think I can ever remember seeing a leading lady head-butting someone outside of a martial arts film. It's genuinely a shocking scene.
Despite all this if you strip all the exploitative material out you're left with quite a nice romantic comedy. Olivier (Gérard Depardieu) is such a buffoon, that despite the occasional thuggish outburst is rather non-threatening: the perfect romantic comedy staple.
The final reveal as to who Gautier is rather anti-climactic. I guess it's meant to be a fantasy within a fantasy sort of thing.
The best thing for me in this film were the Karl Largerfeld costumes.
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