A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to the criminals. Quickly, however, the relationships between the criminal, the wife, and the Englishman begin to shift in humorous and bizarre fashion.Written by
Sean Taylor <Taylor@org.chem.ethz.ch>
CUL-DE-SAC is a psychological comic thriller as an unusual set of surreal circumstances in a realistic landscape. The characters are trapped in a confusing context, which is made up of a mafia, art, promiscuity and perversions. The story is peppered with all sorts of antics, but it is not unpleasant. The plots are inconclusive, but its are enriched with a huge dose of black humor.
A neurotic and effeminate middle-aged Englishman named George lives with his promiscuous young French wife Teresa in a dark castle on a hilltop. Two gangsters, after the unexpected upward tide, invade their messy home and hold them as hostage. Teresa is mad at her timid husband, who does not take any action on the bandits. Gangsters are starting to behave a bit eccentric, while waiting for help from his boss. Uninvited guests come to a visit. Simply, someone has to "boil over"...
Mr. Polanski, in this film, covers topics such as the alienation and a latent madness, which are closely related to a sexual activity. He has managed to replace an emotional void in this film with a combination of black humor, crime and perversion. The characterization is not bad.
Donald Pleasence as George is a kinky and fun husband who has his grotesque moments in this film. He is a man who feels comfortable in a transparent nightgown but he, with a huge dose of disgust, takes a gun in his hand. That is a phenomenal paradox of the situation in the world. His cowardice is ambiguous, because, despite everything, he wants to return a harmonious relation in his home. Lionel Stander as Dickey, through his gangster attitude, distinctive voice and eccentric behavior enjoys the general madness. Françoise Dorléac as Teresa is a beautiful, attractive and nude factor of confusion between George and Dickey.
Mr. Polanski has skillfully managed to balance all segments in this film, but this story still reminds me to a sexy morbid joke.
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