A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi and The Boss. Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.
Manu and Nadine lose their last tenuous relationship with main-stream society when Manu gets raped and Nadine sees her only friend being shot. After a chance encounter, they embark on an explosive journey of sex and murder. Perhaps as a revenge against men, perhaps as a revolt against bourgeois society, but certainly in a negation - almost joyful in its senseless violence - of all the codes of a society which has excluded, raped and humiliated them. Controversial for its violence and real sex scenes: a vividly nihilist road movie set in France. Written by
H. G. Ziche <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Why are people so outraged by BAISE-MOI (which literally means F**K ME, the English language title is a travesty) ? Is it because of the explicit sex (far more fleeting than that shown in any porno tape freely available at most corner video shops), the stylized ultra-violence or the combination of the two ? Unlike some films, this one doesn't in any way glorify violence though, it merely shows the sad inevitability of it as far as its two main characters are concerned.
Both Nadine (Karen Lancaume aka Karen Bach) and Manu (Raffaella Anderson) routinely endure violation both in word and deed on an almost daily basis as sex workers, prostitute and part-time porno performer respectively. The gang rape of Manu and her drug-addicted friend shown here is totally different from the clichéd they-may-protest-at-first type of rape scene encountered in some adults only features. While the other girl cries and screams throughout (and is ever more horribly abused because of it), Manu adopts a facade of indifferent resignation, cleverly robbing her rapists of their sadistic thrill. Rest assured that the scene goes on a lot longer than anyone would want it to and that it is very painful to watch, which is the whole point of it.
When Manu and Nadine meet and embark on their violent road trip, fully aware that they ultimately can't 'get away with it', sex becomes a source of liberation to them. Like so many guys on the lam in any criminal buddy movie you can think of, they take what they want, when and how they want it, casually discarding (not always violently) their casual partners post-orgasm. One of the most common accusations at porn's address is that the explicit sex scenes dehumanize the people performing them, but here that could not be further from the truth.
Former hardcore actresses Lancaume and Anderson are both terrific in their parts and the sex they have (and, yes, it is 'real' sex) enhances their characterizations, rendering them more complete. The 'cinema vérité' rawness of the digital video format in which it was shot, interrupted by sudden flashes of style when violence erupts (an artistic decision to give the viewer a feel for the power and pleasure the women derive from their acts as an escape route from their drab lives), draws the viewer uncomfortably close to the action. Again, that seems to be the point.
So don't let the negative publicity fool you. BAISE-MOI is a rare film that utterly achieves what it sets out to do and it bodes well for debut cinéastes Despentes (author of the sulfurous source novel) and ex-porn star Coralie. You may love it (as I obviously did) or you may hate it, but this is an important film that no one is likely to ever forget, no matter how hard they might try.
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