The 'Exotica' is a nightclub on the outskirts of Toronto, where Eric, DJ and MC, watches nightly as his ex-girlfriend Christina performs. Watches jealously, especially as far as the extra ... See full summary »
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The 'Exotica' is a nightclub on the outskirts of Toronto, where Eric, DJ and MC, watches nightly as his ex-girlfriend Christina performs. Watches jealously, especially as far as the extra attentions regular customer Francis garners are concerned. Thomas, meanwhile and erstwhile, goes through a series of, um, interesting situations involving his pet shop, a gruff taxi-sharing stranger, unexpected tickets to the opera and smuggled eggs of a rare bird. Multiple story lines unfold in a splendid tangle of cutbacks, forward and backward references and recurring themes, all woven around the Exotica, its customers and employees. A calm roller-coaster ride of a movie, visually and intriguingly and emotionally moving. O, and the sound track is notable, too. Written by
Eddi Sommer <email@example.com>
Elias Koteas's first scene has him speaking into a microphone to the clients in the Exotica club. Koteas' first scene in Crash (1996) has him talking into a microphone to an equally selective audience (although the circumstances are different). See more »
He comes in here every other night. He has his favorite drink, and his favourite table, with his favorite dancer. Sometimes he has to wait for her, and sometimes she's waiting for him, to protect him. She's his angel.
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The title of the film "Exotica" comes from a strip club where much of the action either takes place or originates from, where dancer Christina (Mia Kirshner) captivates two men, club DJ Eric (Elias Koteas) and accountant Francis (Bruce Greenwood) for different reasons. Also added into the mix is Thomas, (Don McKellar) an exotic animal store owner who becomes involved when Francis is performing an audit on his books and discovers transgressions there, essentially blackmailing him into helping him get to Christina.
Even if I were to provide enough information about the film without concern about spoilers, it would be hard to describe the plot of the film. "Exotica", while centering on a strip club, is mostly about relationships, (all unhealthy to very great extents) and the evolution of one's character and personality. The film is told in a non-linear style, which is usually very refreshing, but I found that while I was willing to endure the very slow pacing for a great denouement, particularly because I felt like I was being set up for one, I didn't get one. These problems with the film are in direct contrast with the beautiful and stylish cinematography and the fairly rich character development. Things as subtle as Victor Garber's (who played Greenwood's brother in a small but important role) "Black Power" t-shirts were, upon reflection, a great touch. And the performances of the main players were decent, though I will admit that I got a little tired of Mia Kirshner after awhile.
Unfortunately, the negatives and positives of "Exotica" offset one another, and therefore left me pretty tepid. It can be recommended to anyone who likes independent cinema, but beyond that, I can't imagine it being tolerated by a mainstream audience. Perhaps it deserves a second viewing, to appreciate it further, but I give it a 5/10.
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