Sick of everything around her, S. records her inner thoughts on tape. Her father is an executed murderer, her mother a whore, and her boyfriend has sex with a girl openly in front of her. One day she caughts them having sex while messing around with her father's ashes and decides to fill them with bullet holes, and this is only the beginning of her spree of sex and violent crimes.
Imagine a movie that blends the female aggression of "Baise-moi" with the dark drama and shock values of "I Stand Alone". "S." is that movie. Not to say that it's as powerful as "I Stand Alone" or as good of a modern exploitation attempt as "Baise-moi", but that's neither here or there as this movie accomplishes what it wanted to do; to offend and titilate, even if it's not to the extent that it had hoped. But it is a surprise to me that this movie isn't namedropped more often than it is. It's an interesting movie with alot of heavy themes, and that alone should be enough for people to have an interest in it. Sadly that's not the case.
Our female lead is called "S.". S. is sick of the world and everyone in it, except for her closest, but even those more often than not turn out to be just as rotten as everything else. She films herself spraying out her inner thoughts, fears and hate. S. lives with her boyfriend who screws another girl openly in the apartment at any chance he gets, and S. takes the oppertunity to film this. But one day she discovers a tape that reveals the two having sex in her father's ashes and she has had enough. She shoots them to death in their sleep and then heads off to Brussels where she becomes a peep show dancer and meets up with another girl. Soon they have a relationship and love is in the air, but her new girlfriend has to leave, leaving S. alone yet again. What I liked about the film is that it takes alot of turns, it never gets stale, even if the main plot is basicly the same through-out; a woman can't seem to find happiness or love and reduces herself to sex and murder.
We've seen it before, even if it's not always the same, but it's really always a hit or miss ordeal. Take a film I mentioned earlier, "Baise-moi". It's not a perfect film by any means, but to me it stands tall as a decent exploitation film because it's as in-your-face as it is. "S." is much like that. It seems like they tried hard to make up some twisted shit to insert in the film, and while it doesn't shock anyone, it could very well still be messed up enough to offend someone. Two people having sex in another person's ashes, cutting off and cooking a penis, fucking and killing a priest in church only to piss on him, etc. Obviously trying to push things as far as possible, and that can sometimes be really annoying. But it was done slick enough here to get away with it, honestly. The reasons for this I think is because it's a dark drama and starts out bleak from the beginning. We're set in the mood to take these sick things in and they work most of the time. Had it only been exploitation trash with these things happening it would be completely different. I shall also say that "S." is in no way a graphic movie and only pushes things far in terms of content and what we don't see, which helps it a long way because we're not annoyed by poor graphics or anything like that.
Some of you might wonder about the erotic aspect of the film as I set it as a main (sub)genre, but it's really not that bad. As I just mentioned, it's not a graphic movie at all, and all we get is some nudity and some intimate scenes that doesn't involve muff or knob. But there are alot of sex scenes in the film, be it rape or just good ol' sex. And in some cases that's enough to class a film as erotic, right?
Even though I have read some comments where Dutch people claim the acting is poor and they barely manage to speak that language, I didn't notice this at all. I thought the lead actress Natali Broods did a fantastic job carrying this movie on her shoulders, and she goes through many different moods and nailed them all. Happy, sad, angry, turned on, you name it. It's also very refreshing as far as cinematography and sound goes, as I think modern sleazy flicks like this one needs it mo and it manages to present it really well with it's camera work, colors and soundtrack.
I was very happy with "S.". It's not a perfect movie but I think the experienced viewers of exploitation/dramas will enjoy this one. I keep coming back to this point, but if you like "I Stand Alone" and "Baise-moi", or even "Schramm", this film could be right up your alley. It's a film that pisses on alot of taboos and does it stylish with great, but gritty, cinematography. I was surprised at how well it was shot, and even if many scenes are the same-old-same-old, scenes like the finale brings it to a different level than your usual exploitation trash. If you think sex, rape and violence goes hand in hand, give it a go!