A very handsome heterosexual ballet dancer is kidnapped by three hooded
women and forced to submit to their every sexual whim for twelve days. They
make him masturbate. They make him dance for them. They sit on his penis while
he's chained to the ground. The sodomize him with a strap-on. And so forth.
He is totally traumatized by the experience, but when he reports it to the
police, they react the same way those cops on South Park reacted when the
was seduced by a hot female teacher. (They called him in, not to investigate
the crime of statutory rape, but to give him a medal as "the luckiest boy in the whole world.") When the cops
start laughing at him, he decides to take matters into his own hands,
which means that he resolves to undress every woman in Australia until he
finds the ones with the matching birthmarks and tattoos. He doesn't seem to
realize that the kidnappers know his face, and are not likely to agree to a
sexual liaison that will allow him to identify them. Then he tries the other
plan. He resolves to stalk every woman in Australia to see if any of them do
anything suspicious. As you might guess, the innocent ones are not
particularly pleased that some stranger is stalking them. Then he tries the
other, other plan when he gets an
inspiration from his doctor. Since his kidnappers sedated him, and that
required some medical knowledge, he resolves to check out every nurse in
Australia until he finds the right one.
Master detective, that lad.
If you can believe it, he eventually loses even more of his
As bad as it sounds, the plot isn't a complete write-off. The script does manage to create
some suspense by setting up the film as a series of puzzles. First he disappears.
He goes out for a pack of smokes, and never returns (shades of Rabbit
Angstrom). Of course everyone wonders where he has been and assumes he has run
away, so the film poses its first mystery. It begins as
a missing persons case by showing various police procedures and indulging some
intense hand-wringing from his friends. The dancer is not seen in this portion of
the film. The mystery ends abruptly when we see him being pushed from a
vehicle and dumped in an open field. He returns to his home and is obviously in shock, so
mystery number two involves wondering what the
hell is wrong with him. He won't talk about it at first, and the script reveals very slowly what has happened to him.
The third mystery involves his quest for the identities of his tormentors.
When we finally see what happened to him in captivity, we realize that the entire film
is basically a female sexual fantasy gussied up with a psychological thriller
plot to make it cinematic, and then set in the world of ballet to pass it off as
High Art. The guy has a spectacularly good body, and the camera takes it all
in. He even masturbates on camera, and the film shows everything but the money
shot. The female director was at least willing to
allow two of the female
captors to get naked as well, and one of them does quite a hot
masturbation routine, so we guys at least have something to do while our dates
are tickling the taco.
As if the ballet background and the sexual abuse theme were not
sufficiently arty to justify the sex scenes, there are other arthouse elements
as well. There are those sorts of scenes that Tarkovsky and Bergman love where
a person is alone on a city street with the sound of his footsteps, even
though it seems that the street should be teeming with people. And then there
is Greta Scacchi as the mistress of ballet, who is diagnosed with cancer
during the male dancer's traumatic quest for the kidnappers. Scacchi had been his friend and
mentor but he just ignored her while he was obsessed with his womanhunt. When
he finally gets back to see her, she is barely recognizable, obviously a
chemotherapy patient, and this shocks him out of his own self-absorption.
Given all these elements, women have the full panoply of
arthouse armor to defend against attacks that the film is merely exploitative!
Geez, women sure need a lot of justification to clout off. Hell, we guys can
do it if we see some particularly well-designed power tools.
Or even if we don't.
If all the artiness is not sufficient to convince their
girlfriends that they watched this film for its artistic merit, the ladies may also
gush over the music and the cinematography, which is beautiful and colorful.
In fact, it seems too beautiful for the dreary subject matter, as if the
entire point of the film were really not to present the grim story, but to
photograph the hunky guy ...