Killing Me Softly
Erotic thriller’s are actually a really great genre. I am not an expert of this genre of film but I have a few favorites. I was many years late on this film but its been something I had planned on seeing had the opportunity ever arisen. Overall, its a mixed affair. There are quite a few problems. However, when you take the film for what it is you can really find cheesy enjoyment out of it.
I am not familiar with Chen Kaige’s previous work. This is the only film I’ve ever seen from him and will likely be the only film I’ll ever check out. The film is about a married woman who meets a stranger and immediately falls into an erotic bliss with him. Little does she know that he has dark secrets hidden in his past. Once these secrets come to life her man starts to become dangerous. The plot sounds like something you’ve seen and heard before. Its nothing new and treads formulaic ground. There’s nothing wrong with that per say, as long as the film has key elements that make it memorable. As I stated earlier this is a bit of a mixed bag (mostly bad though).
Heather Graham had previously already had a roll as the roller skate girl in the excellent Boogie Nights. My theory is that Graham is good in small doses or a supporting role but not as someone who has to carry the film. The acting from her at times seemed robotic. The script itself felt robotic. No, actually some of the dialogue in the film could have been written by sixth graders. Its so basic and there’s nothing beneath the surface. The films acting and dialogue delivery makes this seem like a typical Lifetime Network film. Even the sudden and loud score that doesn’t sound like it fits make the film seem amateur. The twists aren’t even interesting or suspenseful. I had the end predicted early.
While I’m really harking on the negatives of the film, I liked the portrayal of the intimate sex scenes in the film. If a film markets itself as an erotic thriller, it should be… well… erotic. The scenes are filmed at good angles where we get intimate shots of the beautiful Heather Graham. You can sense the passion in the relationship before the more dangerous aspect of their relationship sets in. I mentioned earlier that the film felt like something you’d see on Lifetime. This is a bad thing but also sort of positive. If you don’t take the flaws of the film seriously you’ll have yourself enjoying a decent at best cheesy erotic thriller that almost gets to so bad its kind of good territory.