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Style and substance, seldom compatible elements across categories of creative expression, are at odds within this Australian production where strong exploration of the former by director Frank Howson clearly wins out over his own shallowly constructed screenplay. When first seen, Michelle Harris (Kerry Armstrong), executive secretary to the managing director of a large stock brokerage firm in Melbourne, is ostensibly happily married, but her jobless husband's low level of self-esteem causes her to lose interest in their physical relationship, simultaneously increasing her vulnerability to her employer's most influential client, American Michael Bergman (John Savage), with whom she begins an affair. Larry (Jeffrey Thomas), her spouse, not oblivious to a personality change in his love bewitched wife, takes what he perceives as needed steps to shield Michelle from Bergman, but following Larry's dubitable suicide, she becomes the financier's mistress although as she lives with him it becomes apparent to her that her lover is clearly not what he originally appeared to be. Ruthlessness to rivals in his business dealings is a trademark of Bergman who additionally uses blackmailing methods to corral potential foes and politicians, yet an even more significant lesson to be learned by Michelle is that seduction of women is a sport for Bergman, and since she has forsaken all that she formerly valued in order to follow him, she seeks for a way to escape what has become a snare. Visually there are few dull moments in this film, for even when a highly predictable script dictates the action, baroque compositions chosen by Howson provide more than enough creative camera and lighting imagery to offset what is essentially a trite, often uncomfortably so, tale of a scorned woman seeking revenge. The twitchy Savage offers a typically mannered performance while Armstrong's strongest moments are when her character is startled, which is frequently, Thomas winning acting honours here as a cuckold who defies his fate; versatile Howson composes several songs for the production ( sung by Guy Pearce, cast as a Bergman henchman) and notice shall be given to the sets, ably designed by Jan Dowding and Bernadette Wynack, and to top-flight work from costumer Aphrodite Kondos, for a film wherein visuals and scoring happily triumph over the scenario.
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