Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review of the Ana Kokkinos film The Book of Revelation

The Movie

The Book of Revelation is a 2006 Australian film depicting the abduction, torture, and rape of a young man by three mysterious women. It was adapted from the book of the same name by English author Rupert Thomson.

The Controversy

This article is in response to a review of this movie I read on Amazon where the person said the story was unrealistic because even if a man could be raped by a woman, he certainly wouldn't consider it a traumatic experience. After all, isn't that every man's dream? Well, answering that question is kind of the whole reason for a story like this to exist, and the answer is, yes it could happen, and yes it would be traumatic.

My Review

First off let me say that the lead actor's performance was amazing. The movie revolves around a theme that many people find unbelievable. To make it believable you need actors who can accurately portray the emotions that the characters are meant to be feeling. Tom Long as Daniel does just that. Even if I didn't understand why the situation would have traumatized him, I would have been won over by his performance.

This is also a very quiet movie. Those who prefer films with lots of action would probably not reap the same enjoyment from it that I did. I, however, found the slow pace to be highly effective. It gives the audience time to reflect on what has happened and to really feel what Daniel is feeling.

Okay, on to the story. I primarily want to answer the claim that the experience of being raped by a woman would not be traumatic for a man. I'm with you up to a point. If the three women in this film had simply come upon Daniel in the alley, somehow pinned him against a wall, sexually pleasured him for the next ten minutes or so, then let him go, he may have been able to return to his normal life relatively unscathed. He probably would have felt a bit weird about the experience. Maybe even a little creeped out by it. It's possible that it would have made him hesitant to walk alone in a deserted alley in the future. But I don't know that it would have completely ruined his life the way the events of the movie do. But the women do a good bit more to him than simply offer sexual pleasure, and what they do would traumatize anyone.

First of all they drug him and kidnap him. Imagine how vulnerable that would make a person feel, to be going about one's business and then all of a sudden have all control of what happens next taken away. Second, they lock him in a room and chain him up. That's where he is when he wakes up, with no idea how he got there, or who put him there. He doesn't know what is about to be done to him. He's there for hours before the women finally come into the room. How many gruesome scenarios would be playing out in his mind while he waits for...what? Torture? Death? He has no idea what is coming.

When the women first come in, he has no way of knowing what they want, so it's perfectly natural that he would flinch when they touch him. For all he knows they're getting ready to slice him open and eat his liver while he watches. When all they want is to give him a blow job he probably feels some relief. Probably even enjoys it. But the fear would be there nonetheless. What are they going to do when they get finished with this?

The next thing that happens is they leave him alone until he finally pees all over himself. Now, even if the sex didn't bother him, I'm pretty sure this would have. What man wants to wet himself in front of three beautiful women? Then they all come in and stand around him, talking about how dirty and smelly he is because he just wet himself. So now we add humiliation to the fear he's already feeling.

There's also the fact that they keep him locked up for twelve days. Now, I know I'm not a man, so maybe I'm just not looking at this the way a man would, but I think I would reach a point where, no matter how lovely the women are, no matter how enjoyable the sex is, I would be ready to go home. Ready to be anywhere other than that room. Ready to sleep on a real bed and eat what and when I want and basically have control of my life back. But maybe that's just me.

Perhaps you're still not sold. Perhaps you still think this experience would be any man's fantasy. Did you watch the movie? Did you miss the part where they attach the chain to his genitals? Does that sound like something that would feel good? Again, I'm not a man, so maybe I just don't know, but I'm thinking not.

The Book of Revelation is an excellent movie that depicts a sensitive topic in a very believable way. I would certainly recommend this film.

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