Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review- When Night is Falling (DVD)

When Night Is Falling (DVD)
95 mins.

Successful in her teaching job at a conservative religious college, Camille (Pascale Bussières) looked forward to marrying her adoring, minister boyfriend (Henry Czerny) and settling down to the conventions of family and career. But a chance encounter with a beautiful, irresistibly sensuous young female circus performer named Petra (Rachael Crawford) is about to transform Camille s predictable life into an electrifyingly erotic adventure.

Captivated by Petra s impulsive sexuality and passionately free spirit, Camille is drawn into a world whose existence she never dared imagined: A world of hypnotic sensuality, rapturous self-discovery and exquisite erotic pleasure.

Now, walking an emotional high-wire between the familiar past and the forbidden future, Camille must choose between the love she can t forget... and the desire she can t resist.

This is a gorgeous, gorgeous film. It’s got a unique, off beat, erotic ambiance to it that you don’t see too often in film. And it’s one of the most beautifully portrayed love stories between two women that I’ve seen so far.

The blurb to this film is right on target so I’ll go from there.

The first thing that grabbed me about this film was the almost quiet way in which the women in this story get together. You can feel an underlying controlled passion between them, but it develops in a slow, gentle and seductive way. This gives time to see what these two women are about as individuals, but also how they come to terms with what they are feeling. It felt natural and real.

Camille is almost stoic. She’s following what she’s been taught to follow, that is a fundamentalist Christian POV of life. But it’s clear from the fact that she’s not been too overjoyed about marrying her long time lover and has been putting him off that she’s not feeling too passionate about her life. Something is missing, not right, but she doesn’t know what that is.

After she meets Petra, something in her is awakened. I loved that she’s very hesitant, even denying it to some degree, while allowing herself to open up to Petra at the same time. She doesn’t run from what she’s starting to feel, which is so against her upbringing and life philosophy, but she doesn’t jump right in there with Petra either.  

Petra, on the other hand, really wants Camille and puts it out there many times. Often it’s a bit too much for Camille and Petra backs off realizing that Camille is struggling with this whole new aspect of her life. But Petra sticks with it until Camille come around. I loved how she shows just enough to let Camille know that she’s desired, pushing it just a little, but at the same time subtly seducing her by just hanging in there and not walking away.

The scenes between the women are just exquisite. The love making is sensuous and tender and highly erotic. The backdrop of the Petra’s life in the circus, along with the music, colors, ambiance, added so much to the sensory aspect to this film. The sexual aspect between Camille and Petra came across as something deep and primal. The kind of sex you have when you’re deeply in love and only that person can complete something in you. It’s just stunning.

There are some other issues in this film. It is painful to see Martin, Camille’s long time lover, who really loves Camille, go to pieces. This isn’t one of those nasty husband/boyfriend stories so the women gets what she needs with a woman. He’s a good guy. A guy who is willing to let this affair go to be with her. It’s just that Camille doesn’t feel strongly towards him and it’s kind of sad.

But I did like that Camille is honest with herself and the minister/ dean of the Christian college she teaches at. I liked that the religious part wasn’t heavy handed; rebelling against it is not used as an excuse for Camille to be attracted to Petra. Both Martin and the minister kind of change their tunes a bit and are willing to let it go and forgive her as opposed to kicking her out of the school and church and or leaving her because of this affair. This made Camille’s love for Petra and her decision to be with Petra a choice. This is how I wish to see love between women portrayed.

All in all I highly recommend this film. I might even buy it, it was that amazing for me. If you really want to see a real love story between women, done in an exotic, sensual and unusual setting, one that quietly seduces you without flash or trying for shock value, this is the film to see.

Heat level: 4- a few naked sex scenes both m/f and f/f. Fairly graphic, but very sensually and tastefully done.

Grade: A++



Cathy in AK said...

Ooooo...this does look good. Library or rent or buy?

I like the idea that the boyfriend isn't a villain. And willing to let Camille figure things out without going bats*** crazy or wanting to watch? Nicely done.

LVLM(Leah) said...

I got this in the library. But I might still buy it.

Well the boyfriend is not willing to let her figure it out. It's more like he knows she's sleeping with Petra, but she doesn't know he knows. He tells her without naming it all out loud that some things are better left unsaid when she tries to tell him about it. So he won't actually let her tell him about it.

He's more or less willing to let it go and forgive her and not talk about it if she lets that go and they move on with their lives together.

But he's devastated. And no, he doesn't want to watch. He wants her as in a full partner and wife.

No one is really a villain in this story, which shows how well it was done.