Brian’s review published on Letterboxd:
BDSM is not for everyone. Even in this age of acceptance towards all facets of healthy sexuality, it's still repulsive to a lot of people, even to those who have otherwise no problem at all with this forward movement in thinking. I suppose the defensive nature I have would say it's because not everyone can live with their own dark truths like I or others can because of it. I do ask myself sometimes if we desire the need of dominion over someone or someone to have it over ourselves, because the world is so screwed up.
This film and the titular character does not explore those larger themes directly, but rather everything that accompanies an experience where an instant sense of intimacy has to come if what results is any good. Through these encounters there is the sense at times you feel she is overwhelmed by the experience in ways that possibly make her question the decisions she made which lead her to this place. But you never feel she is entirely victimized by it, which is a nice change of pace from most dramatic work concerning this subject matter.
I've never paid a professional Dominatrix or submissive for their services, but I have had times when I played with people who were almost complete strangers. This captures the anxiety that can come along with that feeling, but also the rush of it as well. The languid pace of some scenes are stunning in their hypnotic effect, the true mark of someone who knows of what she wrote and direct doing this. Ms. Picardo, along with her cast and crew, should be lauded for their efforts in not just bringing this to life and making those sensations from the terrifying to the ecstatic so palpable to the viewer, but for making a very bold and stylish film on such a small scale.