As you have probably noticed i haven’t done a full movie review since..well, since i started this blog. But last night i saw a movie that i felt demanded a longer review. When i first saw it “Diary of a Nymphomaniac” on netflix streaming, i figured it would be fun, sexy film. And in the beginning it seemed like that was all it was going to be. But somewhere near the end of the 1st act, it started to become a interesting character study that also touched upon a few deeper issues/themes. By the end i fell in love with the movie. I was going to write a short review of this for Dans “best is yet to come” review series, but i after thinking about it i felt this movie deserved something longer
Now, as someone who feels there is a double standard on women in what they can do in the bedroom compared to men(i did a essay in college on this subject, and i also did a speech on it in my public speaking class), any movie that dares to tackle that issue generally gets my interest. A few movies have flirted with this theme, with the most recent and well known example being Easy A, which i’ve seen. I don’t mean this as a slight against Easy A as i found that Easy A enjoyable, but while Easy A only flirted with that subject Diary of a Nymphomaniac tackled that subject head on. I personally found it admirable to see a film with the courage to do that.
Then movie also shows the danger of trying to give up who you are in order to fit society expectations. Valerie(the main character) feels ashamed of her sexual appetite, and tries to suppress it and tries to have children in order to fit society’s expectations of what women are supposed to be. While i don’t want to spoil anything, this attempt doesn’t work out the way she plans it. I think this film is one of the strongest arguments for individuality i’ve seen in a while.
The movie also deals with the theme of males need to own women(There is one female character with a similar urge to own/control others, but the movie is mainly focused on males in this regard). This is where the movie ventures into darker territory, where the attempts by males to control Valerie include such drastic and reprehensible actions as rape. While thankfully those scenes are not anywhere near as long or graphic as the infamous scene from irreversible, but in a way they are even more impactfull as the director uses closeups during such scenes to make the audience see Valeries pain in uncomfortable detail. Despite those themes, the movie doesn’t portray all its male characters as the enemy, and as i said before there is 1 female character who isn’t portrayed in a totally favorable light.
One thing i have noticed in most films is that anytime a woman is shown as a sexual character, there sexuality gets tied to some issue or trauma in there past…in essence it is usually presented as a problem. This movie totally goes against that, which i happen to love. The voiceover in the movie also ends up adding to the movie, rather than coming of as a distraction like in most movies. The movie also has a specific scene that is told through basically all visuals, which is one of my favorite scenes from the movie.
The acting is great across the board in this movie. The lead actress Belen is amazing in the role, and manages to convey a lot of info through body language and mannerisms. Leonardo is also notable in the role of Ben, and pulls off the change in his character with ease.
The only complaint i have with the movie is that the end scene felt..to tame imo. Now,just to be clear i am not someone who needs graphic sexuality in a movie in order for me to like it(One of my favorite movies Ip man has no sex in it), but for me i felt like the final scene felt underwhelming. There was a intriguing minor plot point in the movie, and its conclusion in the final scene felt disappointing to me. But even with that in mind, i still love this movie
Now, as one would expect from the title the movie has plenty of graphic sexuality, which i realize that most of my followers aren’t a fan of. All i can say is that if it was just a collection of sex scenes i wouldn’t be devoting time and energy to writing a review like this. This movie really struck a chord with me, which is why i felt like making this review even though i don’t think this fits the tastes of a lot of my followers. I generally try to avoid making two review posts in a row, but i wanted to write this while it was still fresh in my mind.