Now that the dust has settled, it's safe to say that Lars von Trier's much-vaunted Puzzy Power project was little more than a paltry publicity stunt. Not that there isn't a market for "erotica" (rather than plain old porn) geared towards female viewers, but as usually its progenitors didn't have a clue so they just made it look pretty instead. Hiring experimental video artist Knud Vesterskov, who had next to no experience with conventional cinema (albeit of the adult variety), for their inaugural effort proved positively disastrous. His self-penned script, relayed entirely in voice-over narration, falls squarely into purple prose territory filled with florid metaphors which should raise an occasional chuckle between stifling yawns.
The setting's a recent romantic past but rather than give it the full Mills & Boon treatment, Vesterskov shatters the illusion right from the get-go with an appallingly inappropriate techno thump by Peter Kyed who scored Nicholas Winding Refn's PUSHER trilogy. A young woman (played by Danish singer/songwriter Christiane Björg Nielsen) sits in a gorgeous floral garden reading from her grandmother's diary detailing her erotic awakening at the hands of scarlet woman Lola (Katja Kean). Although the movie's ostensible focus, granny Constance (insipid starlet Anaïs in the flesh, voiced by filmmaker Hella Joof from the excellent OH HAPPY DAY) is completely overshadowed by her mentrix who supplies the lion's share of lensed lasciviousness.
Only five people do the dirty here, so it's a good thing at least that they are all photogenic, naturally none more so than the breathtakingly beautiful Kean, easily Denmark's most popular porn performer ever. Poor little unseasoned Anaïs barely stands a chance going up against this one woman volcano of voluptuousness. The three men run the gamut from boyish (cute Niels Dencker) to muscled macho (hunky Mark Duran, as well-traveled a stud as the dwindling Danish dirty movie culture currently allows) with bald Michael Larsen, briefly popping up for a threesome, falling somewhere in-between.
It becomes clear quite early on that Vesterskov has little erotic imagination of his own, content to crib from recent carnal concoctions such as Philip Christian's IMMORTAL DESIRE and Michael Ninn's FOREVER NIGHT, with Andrew Blake's aloof posturing thrown in for good measure. Sex is professionally if dispassionately performed, with an obligatory emphasis on female pleasure, which need not be a bad thing as Candida Royalle's Femme flicks confirmed time and again. Perhaps Puzzy Power needed a proper pussy in power as Lisbeth Lynghöft did a much better job of it on the subsequent PINK PRISON. Only at CONSTANCE's climax (pun intended) does the spectacle sputter to life with nude under her cloak Kean showing up at gamekeeper Duran's rustic cottage for a Lady Chatterley-inspired roll in the hay that will leave your embers glowing. Too bad it's a case of too little too late.
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