Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Raffaëla Anderson, Karen Bach (Karen Lancaume), Delphine McCarty
Directors: Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi
BAISE-MOI is a movie that was born to attract controversy. Any film given a general release in mainstream cinema containing any proportion of real sex, even if it were only for a few seconds, in today’s society would at least get the popular press into an uproar. Not to mention give the self-appointed moral guardians something to yell about, who are themselves seeking publicity.
Long before the release of BAISE-MOI I had heard tales of shocking scenes that supposedly glorified rape so I doubt very much that many publications will give this film a fair review.
I fully intend however to give BAISE-MOI the fair write up it deserves and as I’m not shocked or offended at scenes containing hardcore sex I hope this will give the balanced viewpoint of what BAISE-MOI is really about.
Early on in the film we see two girls raped by a group of men. One of the girls is openly crying and distressed. The other Manu (Raffaëla Anderson) doesn’t cry, she says it means nothing but inside it’s the trigger for the violent crime spree she is about to embark on. She is already frequently recognised as the star of several porn movies by people that she meets and so she uses her previous experiences to try to dismiss what has happened to her.
We are also introduced to another girl Nadine (Karen Bach) who works as a hooker and her experiences here combined with the fact that she sees a good friend shot to death are also about to push her over the edge.
Through circumstances Manu and Nadine are brought together and go on a road trip through France committing crimes and cold-bloodedly killing their victims. They pick up men and have sex when they feel like it and at one point even raid a sex swapping club killing and robbing their victims.
BAISE-MOI does contain a number of scenes of people really having sex on screen. It’s also clear that actual sex is taking place in the portrayal of the rape scene. The scenes of people getting killed in the film are also quite graphic.
So because BAISE-MOI has hardcore sex in it, is it just a porn movie with a storyline and does it glorify rape?
Well anyone hoping to see a hardcore porn movie would be very disappointed because there is nowhere near enough sex on screen to satisfy that market. Yes there are some clearly filmed blow jobs and yes you can see penetration happening in some of the sex scenes but they are not filmed in a way that a gynaecologist would require as most good hardcore movies are.
As for the rape scene, well that is very uncomfortable to watch as it should be and the violent nature of the act is at least used to explain the catalyst for some of the violence to follow. Also the actresses used in the sex scenes have previously acted in hardcore movies so we are not seeing mainstream actresses being asked to cross the line into hardcore sex acts for the sake of art. These girls have previously made the decision to work in real porn movies for their own reasons and have already drawn their own moral lines.
In my opinion BAISE-MOI is a low budget independent film that uses hardcore sexual images as an aid to get across its message and tell its story. As a film with an obviously very limited budget it’s not badly made although some scenes in the first half are a little disappointing and don’t flow into each other very well, but this does seem to improve through the film. Also the music used at first is like something out of a bad ‘B movie’ but again this improves dramatically later on. Both Karen Bach and Raffaëla Anderson clearly have natural acting abilities and as they are attractive they are not difficult to watch in the general sex scenes.
The movie certainly holds your attention and could never be called dull. If you like ‘indie’ movies and are not shocked by nudity it seeing people actually having sex on screen you should see this film and makeup your own mind. BAISE-MOI is a landmark in independent cinema and could well start a sub-genre of its own. It will be interesting to see what directors Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi come up with next and where the careers of Karen Bach and Raffaëla Anderson will go.