Review: Venus In Fur
Director: Roman Polanski
Running Time: 96 mins
My first thought regarding the director of this film was "I thought he was in jail?!".
Polanski it seems likes S&M, but this acclaimed play by David Ives is a two-hander, dealing with an encounter by a director/writer with an actress. The film deals well with these two types of characters.
Vanda is a not-so-prompt, insipid actress and Thomas is a kurt and exhausted artist, with no luck in finding anyone for for the female lead in his play version of Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (where the term masochism is derived). Though at first ditzy, Vanda proves herself as a very competent actress, but soon the line between characters and performers is blurred.
The two people we see on screen are an amalgamation of both types of people. She may be too good for the role, taking certain elements too far, for example, holding a knife to his throat and pointing a gun at him at one point.
He is revealed to like wearing and doing certain things but whether she is even a real person (she comes across like an apparition) remains ambiguous. The music by Alexandre Desplat is exotic and so enjoyable. The sound in the film is also super; when they are rehearsing, we hear the noises that imaginary props would make: a spoon, a tea cup and other items.
Seigner (Polanski's wife) and Amalric are indeed perfect for these roles as well. Both encapsulate what it is to write and what it is to preform.
Sexy, sassy and a little bit silly.