Is it a coincidence that this thriller has 2 directors - Oliver Hellman and Robert Barrett - and the narrative is schizophrenic? We begin in Zalman King territory with Lesley-Anne Down a college literary professor who teaches at a prison inhabited by the gorgeous John Enos. Since both of them are beautiful specimens of humanity we take pleasure in the anticipation of their union, and the progress is teasingly slow, helped along by the Bernard Herrrmann-ish music. However things go wrong in the second half, with Down inexplicably rejecting Enos, and the romance turns into a stalking thriller. Even if we are meant to see that Down is repressing her sexual freedom (she's given the requisite scene of solo frustration), admittedly with someone who is a murderer which can sometimes bring up trust issues in a relationship, we lose all empathy with her. I mean, she has to be much crazier than Enos to not want a man who looks like him. That may sound shallow, but a hunk is a hunk. And he sensitive. He cries, he uses a little boy voice, and has an irresistible opening line to Down in "I can see your pain". Enos has baggage in the form of girlfriend rap performer Lady B Pearl who is indulged in an extended music sequence, which definitely clued me into the mistep the film makers had taken. As the woman scorned, Pearl poses like Rita Moreno in West Side Story, and delivers mind numbingly awful pseudo-uplifting rap-poetry. The prison sequences have laughably variable levels of security, with conjugal quarters the size of deluxe hotelrooms, and feature a demonstration of ant-gay bashing which is odd considering the attention the camera pays to Enos' crotch and bottom. Down represents the American fascination with British ladies like Joan Collins who have a slatternly edge, but whilst Down is a more subtle performer than Collins she also lacks Collin's authority (camp or otherwise). The title refers to Enos' description of his affair with Down as a "dance to the edge", but when Down later writes "I will prevail" in the sand, our hopes are as dashed as the imprint from the incoming tide.
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