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This choppy melodrama investigates the life of a prostitute in a pseudo-documentary style. The bottom line of the film is that a life of a hooker isn't easy... Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Ken Russell's "Whore" begins with an amusing shot of cars driving through a tunnel (R-rated Freudianism?) coupled with a Jamaican rap on the soundtrack about doing the "boom boom" with girls. Russell, who directed the film and co-adapted the screenplay from David Hines' play, is highly adept at quirky bits of business--blending hammy, outré comedy with blunt-force dramatics--but with "Whore", his mix of in-your-face, sexually-comedic bits and pieces are not always compatible bedmates next to the violence or the introspective moments. Theresa Russell plays Liz, a streetwise hooker full of bravado; often addressing the camera directly, Theresa speaks with an odd swagger in her voice (as if she's channeling someone standing beside her). Striking amazing poses--like Lolita all grown up--Theresa Russell has some choice moments (usually when she's not speaking, as with a silent come-on to a guy who turns out to be gay), but she is not a vulgar, cartoony actress and is too refined to be slutty. Her performance continually improves, however it isn't in the actress's nature to talk tough like a lady truck-driver. There are well-wrought sequences (such as when Russell's friendship with a possible lesbian is interrupted by a vicious pimp, an incredible moment done without principle dialogue), but the film isn't very sexy. Those looking for a raucous good time will be disappointed (can you imagine how that inelegant title looked on the movie theater marquees?), and those hoping for a serious take on the prostitution business probably won't stick around past the first hour. Many scenes simply fall flat, yet "Whore" is a mixed-bag; it's not a deep-thinker, it's not exceptionally revealing, but it leaves an impression behind, along with some giggles, some embarrassment, and some sadness. ** from ****
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