Saturday, June 20, 2009

Critical analysis : The girlfriend experience...(8/10)

Coming from Steven Soderbergh's stable, this movie had to be odd...and it did succeed in being one - the lead character is played by Sasha Grey - a pornographic actress and another oddity was that the actress has not given any shot which testifies that she is a pornstar (which was expected!)...
The movie is about Chelsea...and her complicated thoughts...of being in love, craving for love, getting used to be treated like a lover and a door-mat and her coping with all this...
The initial scene of movie makes you believe that you are watching a romantic movie...a couple is seen having fun, dining, talking and there is red wine too. However, the starkness of the movie is revealed as the lady wakes up alone next morning,  and is paid money without even an iota of emotion being displayed...the client does not even look at her - it is this scene that wakes you to a realization that she is not a girlfriend but an experience of a girlfriend to the guy ...this starts the movie in its real sense...


The movie also contrasts between the tangible and intangible side...Chelsea is quite visibly drawn in monologues with her clients - about the economy downturn and its impact...she is like a lighthouse for many clients...giving a sense of direction in the night for the clients to park themselves suitably / temporarily - rest for a while - where in she gives them some solace and comfort like a girlfriend.

She has a boyfriend, its evident that both of them love each other but still want to earn more money...they are both worried about the inevitable economy crisis coming up and hence they want to make extra money asap...he tries to talk to various gym so that he can become a more successful trainer while she is looking to enhance her clientèle list by a website...

On one such occasion, Chelsea falls prey to her emotions - and this is the turning point of the movie...Chelsea, who had shown no emotions in interacting with clients but falls for this new client...she decides to break the rule - and agrees to go out with the new client on the weekend...this enrages her boyfriend but she does not seem to bother about this...which leaves the boyfriend stumped.

The client does not turn up...leaving Chelsea alone...it is this that makes her cry ...she is also tricked by a potential client who on the promises of taking her to Dubai makes her do unacceptable and disgusting acts...as he wanted to see what he will sell in Dubai!...For a minute, we see Chelsea broken and for the first time she shows emotions (which is another rule broken) to a client...but she strikes back...and the movie culminates with her with yet another client...depicting that the life does go on...


The shooting style is Reverse Chronology and so it does become quite difficult to keep track of what is actually happening...what happens before? Sasha's disinterest in her boyfriend or her falling in love with the new customer...does she buy brands during her replete shopping trips to keep her sane from her schedules with clients or does she buy them to get more clients? or is it like the case of the unknown drummer who is seen playing a nice rhythm but is not at all acknowledged by anyone when he finishes but himself...so is Chelsea treating herself after every one of her "shows"? 
Chelsea is seem to be clinical, even therapeutic with her clients, to an extent that she is shown just talking to them and making them comfortable - this has been wonderfully portrayed by Sasha Grey - to an extent that I fear her porn career could be at stake now! 
The movie is not recommended if you want to have fun as the movie will leave you with lot of thoughts...thoughts which will evoke the real sense of consumerism in our minds...do we actually use what we want? or we want what we actually want to use?
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