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Angel is a dancer wishing to adopt a child. Stormy is a dancer with a secret with her brother Sully. Jasmine is a poetess who falls in love with Dennis. Jo is a dancer who became pregnant and Jessie is a woman fighting to survive in Hollywood. The link between them is the fact that they dance at Blue Iguana, a strip-club managed by Eddie. Their personal dramas are the theme of this movie. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When Angel takes a picture of the billboard advertising the Blue Iguana with her picture on it, the phone number for the Blue Iguana on the billboard is clearly seen. The number actually belongs to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. See more »
Jo frequently takes long swigs from her whiskey container, yet never swallows any drink and speaks immediately after taking the container away from her mouth. See more »
...And it will probably continue to go down as more people see this movie. The thing is when you get movies that people put alot of work into, leave out special effects and coherent dialogue, it rarely stands a chance at 4 weeks in the top 10. Which is what happened to Blue Iguana. It premiered at Film Festivals, went on limited release in the US and over here in England we only got the film in July 2002. Copies were so limited I didn't get to watch it until last September. But, in my opinion it was worth the wait.
All of the cast, main and supporting, give it their all, no holds barred. The only dissapointment was 'Stormy' played by Shiela Kelley. Her character is, like the other strippers, a troubled one, but Shiela barely gets any lines out. Even on the DVD commentary Sandra Oh mentions [in front of Sheila] that she struggled to keep scenes going with her. And what happened to Daryl? She spent so long at a strip club researching and getting to know real strippers, but you wouldn't think so if you watched her improv. She puts on a high pitched voice and acts like a ditz. Simple as that. It's a shame really, because someone else may have made that character more interesting. Angel just lets life and great opportunities slip her by without noticing, and it's sad to watch, but Daryl doesn't make you care anymore than you already do.
As for great performances... Sandra, Jennifer and Charlotte are obvious stand-outs. Being improv, you'd expect Tilly to be outrageous [watch Hide and Seek!] but she plays a good part, giving us both drama and a few laughs. Something the film isn't about, but Jen lightens it up abit.
Sandra gives the strongest performance, and possibly the most touching, as we watch her try to get away from the Blue Iguana, but her boss tells her "this is you're life." And she accepts it, giving her boyfriend a strip, only for him to walk out. Another strong scene with Sandra is near the end, with Kristin Bauer, who plays 'Nico' the Porn Star. Both give excellent performances, especially Bauer, who doesn't say a word, even after she strips. Kristin gives us the most erotic and daring strip in the film [she goes fully nude] and then gives us a very touching performance. It would have been good to see more of her in the movie.
And then there's Charlotte Ayanna, who plays underage-new girl, Jessie. She gives another sad performance. We see her character start at the club just getting some money, and giving the regulars slow strips, but later in the movie she begins to get into the whole thing, possibly too much, and her strips become more lively and seductive. In one scene we see her in a room where the strippers sleep with the customers, and like Michael Radford says on the DVD, we notice her going down and down, just doing what she has to, to get by, and we wonder if Jessie will still be at the Blue Iguana in 10 or 15 years time, like the other women.
Overall the movie delivers what it should, lasts a good 2 hours, which is what we need more of, to get more detail in. Not quick 2 minutes scenes throughout the film where people try to frown and read dialogue like there's an autocue in front of them. Realistic stuff like this. Which is, as good as real, considering there is no script. It gives it more of an eerie feel to it. Mistakes are even made, by Bauer, and actually left in the film, which I found quite interesting to watch, after Michael Radford explained it on the DVD. Before that I just thought Nico was meant to be so drugged up, she had no clue what time it was.
Definately a film worth more than one viewing. However, it's not to everyone's taste. It's probably too trashy for some people. Those who enjoys flicks like The Matrix or Stars Wars, will no doubt find no pleasure in this. If you try to understand each scene, and what is going on, you'll get a better feel for this film.
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