I've never knowingly seen a Charlize Theron movie before, and I doubt I'd ever deliberately see a film because of her. In fact, the only person I think would lure me into a darkened cinema would be Johnny Depp. But he didn't get any award from the Academy, so it's time I checked out the winning stable.
The Paris Cinemas (or whatever they're called) are located in the bowels of Fox Studios, and you'll need to flash your pre-purchased movie tickets to use the facilities. But the seats are good. All of them. And the pre-film advertisements are few. Many items falling in their favour.
The movie itself, I feel, can best be described as: an ugly film about ugly people doing ugly things. So much is ugly, and there is no joy. Parts were uncomfortable to watch. Theron plays a truly gritty character who has almost no redeeming qualities. A character who at times is so dirty that the shower isn't effective for anything more than getting one half of a groping couple ready for a sweaty scene. There is no joy in this film. It shows the dark & dirty side of 'hookerin'" and pulls no punches.
Is it right to search for meaning in such a brutal tale? Maybe, but only if you're looking to go on a murderous rampage and kill all those who'd patronise ladies of the night without stopping to think of their reasons for usage.
Otherwise, it's a gripping tale of one person's enduring vengeance from a life of bad customers.
Reviewed on Sunday, 21 March 2004