Monday 20 February 2012

Sleeping Beauty (2011) Review:

Sleeping Beauty is a film by Julia Leigh which follows Lucy, a student who struggles to afford her rent, has a strong relationship of sorts with a suicidal alcoholic and undertakes in prostitution. One may think at first that Lucy is struggling, however it becomes clear that Lucy thrives on her self destructive behaviour and her situation seems to be largely a result of her own doing.

Lucy answers an advertisement for work that ultimately sees her working as a 'sleeping beauty', whereby she is drugged and left in a room asleep which is then rented out to (older) men who can do as they please, except have sex. Oddly Lucy never shows interest in being involved for the money, rather her motives are entirely unclear and this is one of the many area whereby Sleeping Beauty in my eys stumbles. In spite of how strong Emily Browning's performance is as Lucy, there is a lack of any depth to the character as motivations are never explored and Lucy is devoid of any personality. Likewise the supposed theme 'present' regarding the desires of men is never explored, rather the film fells comfortable with simply pointing out that men have some questionable 'desires' and never takes it any further.

Sleeping Beauty however is meticulousness shoot and is generally gorgeous to look at, however the editing is often heavy handed and is with far to many unnecessary scenes that ultimately lead no where (much like the film) Sleeping Beauty ultimately fells directionless and without purpose. This is unfortunate as I can't help but fell that with a more focused narrative, more depth to the characters present and and actual exploration of the themes present and what that may mean (rather then a simply statement that men have questionable desires) and we could have had a truly unique and interesting film. Sadly as it is Sleeping Beauty is a film that is undeniably unique, but devoid of anything of interest or anything I could describe as entertaining.

My recommendation, stay far away.

- Gabi

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