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  Book of Revelation, The Never Be The Same Again
Year: 2006
Director: Ana Kokkinos
Stars: Tom Long, Greta Scacchi, Colin Friels, Deborah Mailman, Anna Torv, Zoe Coyle, Nadine Garner, Olivia Pigeot, Ana Maria Belo, Belinda McClory, Sybilla Budd, Geneviève Picot, Nina Liu, Zoe Naylor, Odette Joannidis
Genre: Drama, SexBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Daniel (Tom Long) is a successful dancer who has made a name for himself on the Australian scene with his girlfriend Bridget (Anna Torv) and today they are rehearsing for their latest production under the direction of their tutor, Isabel (Greta Scacchi). After a long stretch of dancing, where Isabel stresses to Daniel he must forget his ego if he wants to attain perfection in the art, it's time for a break and Bridget asks him to go out and buy her a pack of cigarettes. Not wishing to protest, he complies - and that's the last anyone sees of him...

...for a while at least. This mightily pretentious drama was based on a novel by Rupert Thomson, and adapted by its director Ana Kokkinos with Andrew Bovell, whose last screen project had been the intriguing Lantana. The Book of Revelation, on the other hand, purported to lay the masculine ego bare by subjecting it to humiliation by females, but by taking an unlikely premise, it failed to build up much of a point other than the simple fact that traumatic experiences can really damage a person - something that applies to either gender.

In a set up reminiscent of seventies porn film Behind the Green Door only with a role reversal, what has happened to Daniel is revealed in flashback as he was abducted by three masked and cowled women who made him their sexual plaything. This plays out like a sadomasochistic fantasy as our troubled hero is put through various ordeals which only the fact that it's women putting him through them means that he's able to be aroused for them to carry out their desires. We never really find out the reason for this, and the more it goes on the more artificial it appears.

Once Daniel is released, he has a lot of soul searching to do and goes to the police, but is too embarrassed to admit what has happened to him (and the cops taking his report don't seem too compassionate). He ends up splitting with Bridget (Torv plays one of the captors, although as we never see her face in those sequences it's hard to know how much to read into that casting) and leaving dance behind as his quest to discover the identity of the abductors becomes all-consuming. Throughout all this, a detective, Olsen (Colin Friels) looms in the background, willing Daniel to confess to him.

After a while, it looks as though Daniel has got over his ordeal and he even gets another girlfriend, Julie (Deborah Mailman) to whom he seems like a nice, sensitive chap. But the assault on his manhood (and his arse, for that matter) has left emotional scars and we're supposed to muse over what it means to have your masculinity challenged by a bunch of crazed females, but this is hamstrung by the way that nobody in the film seems very sure beyond the obvious, i.e. it would be a deeply worrying occurence. By the end, Daniel's quest leads him up some dark alleys and he is finally able to open up to Olsen, but as it's difficult to get into his head at the best of times, what you're left with is a rather ridiculous and po-faced drama that prompts an unenlightened shrug. Music by Cezary Skubiszewski.

[Universal's DVD has interviews with the cast and crew and behind the scenes clips as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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