Choses Secrètes

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French writer-director Jean-Claude Brisseau has a (small) cult following, but this particular example of pseudo-surreal soft-core fantasy, purportedly progressive but in fact profoundly misogynist in its ‘subversive’ celebration of female empowerment through sexuality, is unlikely to win many admirers. Charting the adventures of two feisty Parisiennes – erotic dancer Nathalie (Coralie Revel) and barmaid Sandrine (Sabrina Seyvecou) – who, having been fired from a nightclub, decide to wreak vengeance and scale the social ladder by exploiting men’s desire for their nubile young bodies, the film proceeds from leaden satire to ludicrous melodrama, culminating in an implausible château orgy reminiscent of the likewise silly scenes in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. The script’s risible, the performances perfunctory, the direction – despite all the lurid pretensions – pedestrian. As for it being a paean to female power, since any such control turns out to be entirely dependent on sexual display and deceit, and involves being not only objectified but gang-raped, the film is at best woefully misguided, at worst pernicious. It is also, crucially, tripe.

By: GA

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