Written by Virginie Despentes
Directed by Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi
Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and explicit violence. It should make for a great movie, but as this controversial French film proves, that isn’t always the case.
Nadine is a hardened prostitute and Manu is a detached porn star, two cold women who participate in sexual intercourse for profit. When Manu (along with a friend) is raped, and Nadine is, umm…nagged too much, apparently, they each kill someone very close to them and then head to the train station to flee from the authorities. The last train has already left, and when the girls meet for the first time, Manu suggests that they find a car and get out of town another way: ROAD TRIP!
Along the way, they have sex with some men, they kill some men, and they have sex with and then kill some others. And, well, that’s pretty much it.
Imagine Thelma and Louise, if that film was completely devoid of plot and the main characters liked to dance together to techno music in their underwear. On second thought, don’t imagine that.
I can’t say that I understood the motivation of the main characters. Nadine seemed to snap for no reason other than living with a roommate who was just looking after her best interests, and whereas Manu’s rape could be seen as the precursor to her becoming unhinged, her rather blasé attitude about the whole affair pretty much negates that possibility. As she says, “If you park in the projects, you empty your car because someone is going to break in. I leave nothing precious in my cunt for those jerks. It’s just a bit of cock.”
The beginning of the film was entirely too cluttered with unnamed characters who had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie, and the handheld shaky-cam was often frenetic and distracting. On the plus side, however, the soundtrack which was made up mostly of French rock and punk, sounded great (even if I couldn’t understand what they were singing),and there is a sex-club massacre that you won’t soon forget.
And finally, yes, the violence was plentiful, but it wasn’t nearly as graphic as many people claim. The sex, on the other hand, is plentiful and graphic. I was expecting “graphic sex” on a Basic Instinct level, and was rather shocked to see sex on a Butt-Bangin’ Beauties 7 level, which is to say, full-on penetration. As Roger Ebert pointed out, if it wasn’t for the sex, this movie wouldn’t be controversial.
But allow me to say that if it wasn’t for the controversy, nobody would see this film.
French (with English subtitles)