By beginning with the title, its etymological composition seems to us very interesting. Indeed the word "Maniakos" in Greek indicates a being mentally sick and persisted on some obsessions. However this individual is not necessarily stupid. As for the word nymphomaniac, everybody knows it well. The appearance of this word removes any vulgar idea and reminds us the style of this movie. Besides, the Greek etymology of this title sends back to a learned idea.
Joe, contrary to what she claims, she is not a nymphomaniac. Indeed, she is for the quest of something indistinct and she never feels a great pleasure. Besides, she never regrets her acts in her past.
Seligman, look like the narrators of the novels of Zola. Indeed, he knows fewer elements than the spectator and it is the neutral observer who does not judge. We could believe that it is the link between the spectator And the character. The expository scene introduces us into the atmosphere of this movie and suggests us well its contents and the moral poverty of his protagonist.
These positive elements seem to us interesting and are a part of movie, but they cannot present its real value or its real weight.
As we said, Joe reflects well the provocation and she does not communicate with the spectator. Indeed, it is about a wall which separates us with her and that's what reminds us that it is about an individual without feelings and empty of any idea.
This provocation is strengthened by its egoism which reaches the limits of a disease, as well as by its eccentric attitude which presents nothing interesting. However we wish that the second volume of this movie gives an answer to all these questions which we put indirectly.
These weaknesses, lead to forget us its qualities and several times we believe that its limits with a pornographic movie are not always clear. It is about vulgar and shocking scenes which become more obvious when we notice that the protagonist is a clumsy and naive individual.
The nymphomaniac movie, in spite of its positive elements, presents a large number of weaknesses which do not allow it to draw the attention of a warned public. Besides, even the wide public cannot appreciate this movie. However we hope that the second volume could well rectify this clumsiness. Besides we regret the intervention of the censorship in France which adds nothing positive to a work of art.
According to what we have already expressed, this movie can remind us that it is about one against utopia. Knowing that this literary genre is a part of the XXth, century, a period favorable to the modernity and to the creation of a better world. These characteristics continue to exist in the XXIth century, but they are weakened well and the modernity has no more the same sense because it does not still include the idea of the progress. It is about postmodern period. The theme then of an ecological disaster thus terminates all these States and the humanity contents itself with a micro society limited in a train. It is about a new conception of its anti-utopia, but this time the pessimism of the director overtakes well that of against Utopia's because this totalitarian State of the train makes no more promise for a "constructed" happiness, but it limits to promise just the survival. At the level of other mythes we can well think of the Noah's Ark, but this time we have no more a Patriarch indicated by God to establish a new humanity, but devoid leaders of everything smells of justice and humanity. The results of this (society turn out catastrophic because it) not only the death of the revolting character, but the disappearance of this world. We can so think that there are four types of States who lean on the oppression: so we have the despotic States such as they were in past, totalitarian states such as we knew during the XXth century, anti-Utopia's states as those of the New Brave World of Huxley or We of Zamyatin and the nihilistic state of this movie which ends in the destruction of any human form of life. It simplifies the component elements of it anti-utopia because we more need propaganda, neither high technology which would aim at controlling and at erasing the consciousness of the individual nor the creation of a protagonist with a culture which would allow him to dispute this state. Consequently the creator of this story does not any more need to describe the political and social structures of this state as it is the case as well utopias anti-utopias. Both survivors of the second disaster could give us an idea of optimism, but the latter is only an illusion because all the elements of the creation of a new world are not given and it is doubtless a weak point of the argument of this movie. We finally have to underline an element of other novels between this movie and Aldous Huxley' New brave world. This remark could be considered as a coincidence but it is interesting to indicate it because we try to find the links which exist between it anti-utopia and this movie. The British author implicates Ford and we see him in a way parodied without this work. It we find him here also as an abstract but discreetly omnipresent entity. By considering these ideas which we expressed we notice that this movie is a continuity of it anti-utopia, adapted to the XXIth century but which does not lean any more on the science fiction, but on the anticipation which highlights a near future.
If this movie is a shape of anti-utopia, however it would be very interesting to wonder about the messages that the author in the intention to pass us. Given that Michael Readford does not want to create scenes which aim at impressing the spectators, but leaning on this deep pessimism which we evoked with the presence of a social order which looks like a nightmare, we think that this film-maker tries to express some fears. Having the conviction that the theme of the ecological disaster does not really interest him, because no explanation justifies this hypothesis and we do not know why and how this train can save the last survivors, we can understand that this director tries to express some thoughts which concern the human nature. The fact that the disparities which create the hatreds and the hostilities between the human beings continue to exist even in these circumstances which threaten the existence of the man, that's what translates the deep pessimism the dimensions of which reach the limits of the nihilism.