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Exotica (1994)

Updated on March 12, 2012
Mia Kirshner as Christina
Mia Kirshner as Christina

Because the story unfolds at a rather leisurely pace, and because we are only offered bits and pieces about the motivations of the characters, the viewer is forced to build certain assumptions – assumptions that seem to fit, but not exactly.

This ambiguity creates unease/tension. The behavior of the characters is puzzling, so it's difficult to shut this off mid-way. The interconnection of the characters also seems in blatant or quiet opposition, and this too creates a climate of ambiguity/intrigue.

You will really want to know how these troubled, separate lives tie together, and what made them such damaged souls.

Note: There is nothing torrid in the film, nothing depraved. It's a legitimate drama with an erotic skin underneath where a lot of tragedy resides.

This is not a well-know or publicized film. That happens. In this viewer's estimation, the overall power of the film warrants four out of five stars. It is an off-beat, seemingly kinky, artsy film with an earnest core.

Judging by the professional reviews, many people will regard this as either an average flick or even sub-par. I found the story to be very original and especially enjoyed the purposely misleading plot development. The performances are also excellent.

I recommend not postponing too long to view this movie, as it is exactly the type that gets lost in the shuffle.

Mia Kirshner as Christina
Mia Kirshner as Christina

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