28 July 2003 | Django-21
Beautiful, haunting, poetic and truthful.
Just seen this for the second time. First time I saw it (about a year ago), I wasn't really sure what to make of it, but there were scenes from it (when Elias Koteas reveals why his connection to the disturbed and grieving father and the scene with the father and his daughter's babysitter at the end) that have always stuck in my mind.
A very haunting and beautiful movie (even though it gives a very unpleasant view of life), with a haunting snake charm style score and starring the brilliant Elias Koteas (from "Crash") and the lovely Mia Kirshner (from early first season "24" and "The Crow: City Of Angels"). Victor Garber (Sidney's dad in "Alias") also has a couple of scenes. Not to many tastes but very rewarding if you can appreciate it (although it's sense of detachment probably puts off a lot of people).
It seems to me to explore the theme of people trying to connect, in a very insular and ultimately unfulfilling way (the young gay man who goes to the ballet every night and gives away his "extra ticket" for companionship or the grieving father who pays a young girl to "babysit" his empty house so that he can have the illusion his daughter is still around for example), and also the theme of loss (variously of loved ones, innocence, youth, opportunity etc). The Exotica strip club seems such hollow place but at the same time it seems almost understandable that it would draw hapless souls night after night with nowhere else to go. Some of the dialogue seems poetic, cynical and truthful all at the same time. A film that you really need to watch to the end before you really feel you understand it's puzzle (and even then there seems to be something just out of grasp this viewing). A moving portrait of life that will linger in your mind afterwards.