Francois Ozon’s ‘Water Drops On Burning Rocks’ tries to elaborate a solid hypthesis: Sexuality and Identity can in fact be mixed.In other words, ‘Water Drops on Burning Rocks’ is a brilliant demonstration of what can be resumed as ‘You are who you fuck’. The young Frank is asked by 50 year-old Leopold if he takes pleasure in having sex with his girlfriend, Anna. Frank doesn’t know what to answer to Leopold ; he seems to be repressing something close to homosexuality, as he takes immense pleasure when he has sex with Leopold, who seems at first to be a pervert homosexual searching for a one night stand. In fact, Leopold is just a pervert who tooks immense pleasure from sex in general . Is he bisexual ? Ozon doesn’t seem to care much about collocating each character’s sexual orientation as much as he cares to show their sexual ambiguities. Vera is transsexual, apparently she has been a man before becoming a woman for Leopold’s sake, who got rid of her afterwards.Anna is heterosexual, as she is only attracted by men. Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Transsexualism, Heterosexuality are all represented by one particular character, but the interchangeable orientations of these characters make these adjectives seem less and less appropriate facing different sexual situations.
We aren’t just facing sexuality, we’re facing identity development. Frank becomes suicidal and depressive as his homosexuality arises slowly form the darkness. Leopold’s ambiguous traits are blown away when he starts his tumultuous short affair with Frank’s girlfriend, Anna.To him, there are no sexual borders.He would go anywhere to chase desire.And this is where Ozon eliminates all connections made to sexual orientation, to showcase what really mattered to him : Desire and sexual frustration. Sexuality is pretty dominant in one’s self-thoughts, as it caused the suicide of Frank, not getting answers from anyone. Vera’s transsexuality is also pretty pretty visible in the way she thinks, ambiguity also being a principal trait in the way she thinks and acts.It’s mostly from the way Vera and Frank act that you can see how sexuality and identity mix and become one , and not in the way one tries to find his sexual identity, but in a way one acts and lives in response of the way he’s sexually oriented. Also, the imminent showcase of the absurdity of life, love and relationships is pretty entertaining to watch.