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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Pleasure (2021)

I really should at least look at a synopsis of what I'm watching beforehand. Before the opening titles, there was an accompanying pre-cursor audio track that made me stop what I was doing to make sure I was hearing it right. Just so happens I was. Right then...

I don't think it would be too revolutionary to suggest that the entertainment industry can be a cut-throat business, especially to the innocent and gullible, so the message I think we're being lectured to about here is not exactly original.

The trick to make a movie with a believable plot and storyline about Porn is that you, more often than not, have to feature at least elements of the porn you are trying to comment upon, which is still a genre of the very industry you associate with rather than disassociate from. Looking at this effort, it appears that embracing it is the only real way to convey it effectively.

Sofia Keppel's performance is nothing short of remarkable here. The positions that Bella (Keppel) finds herself, in her ambition to become the next big porn star, would turn many an actress' hair white with shock. But Keppel dutifully throws herself into every scene and delivers a very convincing portrayal of a young woman's trials in an industry that is often demonised, fairly or unfairly.

Given the subject matter, it will come as no surprise that this is not for everyone and also that this has already garnered both outrage and critical praise in almost equal measure.

A warts-and-all look at the making of a porn star and the hoops that need to be jumped through to achieve it. As a character study, this is probably better than we would normally be expecting which is to its credit, given how easy it would have been to make this nothing more than lurid.


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