The blankest black comedy; modern dysfunctions & older urges. No Jacobean revenge here - too easy a route - instead a 'mind fuck' let alone rape fantasy that (as per the film) 'crushes' norms and expectations with sex abstracted from love into the unsafe territory of raw sensation. The power play is thrilling with control see-sawing with steely precision. Verhoeven's best to date; ditto Huppert. Black coffee indeed.
2.9 I wasn't surprised to find out this was written by a man.After all, this is a male fantasy, disguised as story about female strength and revenge.Michele doesn't react as your typical rape victim; no, she's cool and sexy, giving her rapist various opportunities to assault her and maintaining a blank face afterwards. Where's the humanity? She's an interesting woman; she deserved more depth.(continues)
A very strong 4.5 (possibly 5 on a repeated viewing)! Huppert is amazing in her role and is so uncompromising in her portrayal of a highly damaged (yet strangely hyper functional character). The character is strong and such a force to be reckoned with that she faces the horrendous events that are thrown at her through life!! With Rebecca Hall in 'Christine', Huppert's performance is my favourite of the year so far.
Weeks after viewing, this film still clatters around my head like an itchy scab that won't heal. The incomparable Huppert is the inscrutable, aberrant Michelle, who I can only describe as the antithetical woman. She has none of the expected traits of the postmodern woman except for sex, which makes her actions and reactions such an all-consuming paradox. It's this dissonance that both vexes and intrigues.
Why 2 stars?I wasn't wowed by the performance of Hupert and the whole idea of the victim who is not or that who is trying to adapt to this idea of not being helpless does not bode well with the thing itself.Rape is so serious,it needs to be addressed as the elephant in the room and in this film it is a device and the idea of following around this woman who is not real, perhaps never was, does not convince me.Sorry.