Venus in Fur

Venus in Fur ★★★★

Even admist polar opposite stylistics and tone, I couldn't help but to draw comparisons in the story's progressive structure that blends reality and fiction in a cinematic world to that of Kiarostami's deeply thought provoking Certified Copy. Of course Kairostami's film was not an immediate reaction to Venus in Fur but rather a slow unraveling of secret character motivations, role reversals, and power play that take a stranglehold of the viewer's attention. It's films like these that hold a certain psychological influence over the viewer, that keeps them engrossed in desire for the truth, a yearning for logic and comprehensibility that never delivers leaving the audience in a state of bewilderment and wonder. Films like these leave an impact and that is always the marking of greatness and thus Polanski has still not lost his touch after such a lengthy and illustrious career.

Speaking of Polanski, while he directs this film as an adaptation of someone else's stage play (David Ives) he inserts more of his own personality and even metaphorical biography into the film that it begins to reflect his own life more than the original material. In a meta turn (as if the film was not already "meta" enough) he brilliantly casts his wife in the role of Vanda as well as dressing Mathieu Amalric (whom is the "director" of the play within the film) to look like a young version of himself even going as far in such an uncanny resemblance as to donning the same hairstyle. This brings forth a theory of how Polanski is essentially making this film in the vein of a love letter to his wife. Let's not kid ourselves she dominates this film as well as in character dominating the Polanski look alike in Almaric. In essence it is as though Polanski is telling the audience metaphorically of how he is still slave after all of these years to his own goddess of dominatrix in Emmanuelle Seigner. She still possesses his being and he wants to capture that feeling of succumbing mind, body, and soul to another person on his film. This made Venus in Fur feel even more of a personal portrait, an intimate tragic comedy into the marriage between Emmanuelle Seigner and Roman Polanski.

Robert liked this review