Roman Polanski’s ‘Bitter Moon’ Is The Movie ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Wishes It …

March 3, 2015 - Fifty Shades of Grey

New on Netflix is Bitter Moon, a disfigured sadistic story from Roman Polanski starring his wife Emmanuelle Seigner opposite Peter Coyote and featuring a ancillary expel of Kristin Scott Thomas and a baby-faced Hugh Grant. Aboard a journey ship, Nigel (Grant) and Fiona (Thomas), accommodate a weird Mimi (Seigner) and her wheelchair-bound, pimp-like husband, Oscar (Coyote). Captivated by their puzzling attribute — so distinct his vanilla, boring marriage to Fiona — Nigel becomes enchanted with not just Mimi’s vivid beauty though by Oscar’s retelling of their roller-coaster attribute in explicit detail. What starts as a delayed build becomes an heated story of lust, passion, furious sex, heartbreak, sadism, and control; all recanted to Nigel through Oscar’s striking flashbacks.

Bitter Moon is standard Polanski fare: heavy voiceover, far-reaching shots that make his damaged characters seem even some-more vulnerable, and, of course, visually overwhelming cinematography that switches between bleak monotones and bright, gaudy color schemes that tonally play along with his perplexing narrative. The story of Mimi and Oscar immediately reels us in only as it does Nigel, and its whirlwind of sex, exploration, and pointed surrealism that is, in a nutshell, positively zero like Fifty Shades of Grey.

Once on a time we review a Fifty Shades trilogy before angrily handing my unprepared duplicate of Fifty Shades Freed, a shutting tome in a E.L. James franchise, to a mother on a transport who was creation her approach through the second novel. we couldn’t have cared reduction about what happened between Anastasia and her stalker-turned-helicopter-pilot father Christian Grey, since a story ceased being entertaining and began taking itself a tad too seriously. Recently, I came conflicting a pirated chronicle of a film and couldn’t make it by a initial half-hour as it was a sum boredom too tedious to hate-watch. Fifty Shades of Grey could have been so most some-more pulpy, excessively graphic, and, well, fun. Seriousness is where a rather unsexy film about BDSM sex-ploration unsuccessful tenfold since a novel it’s formed on is not indispensably eccentric nor difficult like Bitter Moon, though passionate and nonsensical as all hell.

It’s no warn that Bitter Moon makes Fifty Shades feel like a Monday night promote play (that How To Get Away with Murder duplicate room stage incited me on more) and I’m certainly not a initial chairman to disagree that a film isn’t as sparkling as it could be (no doubt others have endorsed Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac or Steven Shainberg’s Secretary instead). Surprisingly, Fifty Shades of Grey shares identical themes of passionate note with Bitter Moon.

Granted, both films are exquisite being that they’re directed, written, scored, and acted on conflicting ends of a artistic spectrum, in further to displaying separate tones and pacing. Yet, what struck me was a connection between Bitter Moon‘s Oscar and Fifty Shades‘ Anastasia per the shared idolization of their passionate partners, Mimi and Christian, respectively. Both are virgins to this banned nature (Anastasia to sex in general) and turn engulfed in a world of pleasure, pain, and play faster afterwards they can contend their protected word. In both initial acts, passionate note occurs amid kinky fetishes including shred and sexualizing glass — in Mimi’s case, milk; in Christian’s, white wine. Both couples indulge in purpose play with Mimi and Christian as dominants and Oscar and Anastasia as passionate slaves, respectively, who can’t get enough.

Bitter Moon eventually evolves to switch a roles of Mimi and Oscar, apropos a tangled disaster of perversion and martyrdom, though both films fondle with a idea that with good energy comes good strategy — a kind that locks we in for life, creation we emotionally incompetent to see another chairman as human, let alone be happy with anyone else. Given a amateurism of a text, there’s no approach a film instrumentation of Fifty Shades could have been anything some-more than a Valentine’s Day weekend blockbuster, whereas Bitter Moon is truly art.


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Photos: Everett Collection

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