Pleasure (Sundance 2021); Grade: B
Strictly Films welcomes you back to more coverage of this years Sundance Film Festival! Our next film on the block: Pleasure.
Pleasure tells a story about an up and coming porn star named Bella Cherry (Sofia Kappel), whom has left her hometown Sweden to pursue a career in Porn. As Bella has high hopes to star and fame, she'll learn that the road to get to be a major name in porn is a lot tougher than it appears to be.
The Cinematography t'was fine. It's give or take with terms how this film is shot, one minute visually looks nice, then the next minute visually looks a bit amateurish. Regarding to it's subject matter the visuals look accurate to what it is, so that's why some shots are on and off based on presentation. The Score as I can remember was enjoyable. The cast all in all was honestly solid as a whole. Sofia Kappel playing Bella honestly had a solid performance. How the character Bella is written feels like it was written for the audience, in which they also are curious about making it in the industry, as they wonder if it's fun and glamorous as how it appears to be. As we learn along with Bella on the industry, we see a great amount of change regarding her arc. One minute she would like to play it safe, as the next thing you know... She's taking on major risks, as she ditches the whole nice girl act, so she can be the next big thing so she can not only get more work but perform however she wants to perform.
Along with some shots that didn't look good, another flaw I would like to add is also pacing issues. Honestly this film felt like it was taking forever to wrap up, as more things were adding onto the experience.
Due to Pleasure's explicit content, I don't believe this will ever be presented on a wider scale towards cinema, as this will never be in a theater. Not only graphic nudity and sexual content involved, but also has a brutal intense rough sequence that'll also get flagged as this is easily going to be NC-17 rated. It's kind of a shame that Pleasure won't be received by a wider audience, because I believe this is honestly a good film that NEEDS to be watched.
By subject matter it does compare to the likes of Boogie Nights, may not be close to the quality level of Boogie Nights, however exposing the reality of this porn industry does compare and even goes further to today's industry. Pleasure despite it being a fictional narrative, it does however make you learn about the industry, as how scenes are structure, as well as the rest of the industry regarding starting up, fame, and especially categories. Like that rough sequence... Like I had no idea they really go all out, as they just sign a wavier just to get beaten the living shit out of... Like SHEESH! You also learn how this industry is more suitable to men than to women. Like men got it pretty easy and can somehow do whatever they want, as long as the woman signs the paperwork... They can get away with anything. Women got it pretty tough, even when they make a name for themself, as long as there is a man on set he still has control in the scene over the woman
As far as the narrative... It was surprisingly not half bad. You see how power really changed Bella as a person, as she lets things roll on as she losing touch of her real self. Like Bella used to be a caring and genuine person, now with bringing on a name for herself, now she leans in with the bad people because she doesn't want to lose her reputation and bring herself back down to the bottom. Though the ending was unexpected... It felt fitting. I do hope people do get a chance of seeing this film, not only a good film but also may change your perspective on the porn industry itself, as the la la land fairy tales will slip away as you discover... It's a bit challenging than it looks.
Overall, Pleasure is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana