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Rolf de Heer
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Steve is a man who has it all, a successful career, wonderful children, beautiful home and a loving wife. However, returning to his home after work on his birthday, he finds his house deserted and darkened with almost all the lightbulbs missing, all easy access outside cut off and a videotape waiting for him. Playing that tape, he watches a bizarre and grueling recording in which his wife explains her grievance with him, her reasons for disappearing with the children and her revenge for how he treated her in a way he would never forget. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Director Rolf de Heer visited the Crazy Horse Strip Joint in Adelaide to inform his script-writing for writing of the strip scene. See more »
Husband Steve is watching the video with the TV control in his right hand & a smoke in his left hand. The film angle changes & now the TV remote is in his left hand & the smoke is in his right. See more »
[talking to the mirror]
I'm sorry Steve, I'm truly sorry.
[spits into the mirror]
Don't be sorry. Never be sorry.
See more »
'You didn't marry me, Steve, you married my body.'
Rolf de Heer both wrote and directed this strangely fascinating and equally disturbing 2003 film for a cast of two. It takes chances (both male and female full frontal nudity among them), relates a tale that will likely make the viewer cringe and have some bad dreams, depends solely (well, practically solely) on two actors to pull this off, and in the end brings to the table a story of a terminally dysfunctional marriage.
Steve (Gary Sweet) and Alexandra (Helen Buday) live a middle class existence with their two children in Australia. After a strangely cold beginning - today is Steve's birthday and his two children and Alexandra have plans for an evening's celebration. Steve seems to start the day in an amorous mood but Alexandra is surprisingly unresponsive: Steve's attention is disturbed by the fat, ugly security systems installer neighbor (Bogdan Koca) who is constantly watering his garden. Steve is off, and at work his colleagues present him with a surprise birthday party AND an advancement in his company. When Steve returns home, his house is deserted and darkened with almost all the light bulbs missing, all easy access outside cut off and a videotape waiting for him, a videotape labeled 'play me'. Plugging the tape in Steve is instructed to get a beer and sit and watch what is about to unfold. On the tape Alexandra lays out her complaints about their marriage - Alexandra's feeling of abandonment, lack of sexual fulfillment, lack of intimacy, no control over the direction of her life. One of her biggest complaints is that Steve 'married her body' and made love at her, not with her. In an attempt to regain control of her body and her life Alexandra does some sexually perverse things on the tape to humiliate both Steve and the 'body' he married. She explains her grievances with him, her reasons for disappearing with the children and her revenge for how he treated her in a way he would never forget. The proceedings on the tape become real-time and the result of how Steve and Alexandra cope forms the surprise ending to this little sour film.
Both Sweet and Buday give convincing performances and the progress of the tape watching keeps the viewer's attention. Much of the back story for the film is left to the viewer's imagination but as far as the experience the script offers, it is a tough and strongly acted experience.
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