Playmaker ★★★★

Women will literally pay Colin Firth $5000 to psychologically assault them in a five star hotel instead of going to therapy. 

Big props to Edith for suggesting this brilliantly perverted and cruel thriller! Jennifer Rubin plays an actress wannabe who signs up for acting lessons with a sadistic coach who teaches through psychological torture and ends up holding her hostage for three days. The mind games keep upping in stakes, reaching what you think is the inevitable conclusion only to realize… huh, there’s still like 45 minutes of this left? And then shit really gets nuts. 

I didn’t know where this was going and I really enjoyed the ride, even if I thought the real ending was a little silly. But in a good way, I enjoyed every minute of it. There’s a clear cut message here about the innate cruelty of Hollywood, from the endless internal self scrutiny to sexual assault. There’s also an excellent sidebar on the illusion of sex granting women power, specifically in conforming to male fantasy, when in fact the vast majority of the time it works to oppress them even further. 

But the stuff that really fascinated me was the actual lessons from the acting coach. This idea that you have to fuel your passion but kill your enjoyment in order to succeed. Kill your self consciousness, your desire to be taken seriously and even control of your own mind and body. Success is something you can only gain a deeper understanding of how to achieve through life experience — specifically terror, humiliation and profound loss.

It’s such a fucked up message but fuck, it’s kind of true!!!!! I’m not saying subject yourself to torture but the world does tend to reward those who have nothing to lose. And there is a trap with “doing what you love” in that passion can’t be sustained indefinitely and knowing how to transition it over to routine is the sort of thing that can really make or break a person.

World’s a rough place! And Playmaker thinks there’s no excuse for naivety or dreams. Vicious!

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