25 March 2013 | dlogue444
A Quietly Decadent Affair
Sirwinakuy is a quiet film--languid and intimate. The story of the relationship between an older man and a younger woman, it takes the viewer into the dreamlike nature of their union, where no one else exists and the outside world is kept at bay. This is the fantasy that happens whenever two people fall in love, but this is no ordinary love. In fact, for the length of the movie the viewers, as well as the main characters, are not certain whether this is love at all. It begins like a fairy tale; a chance encounter in a cafe leads to an immediate, unspoken attraction and both the young woman and the man are fearless enough to follow impulse without questions. It's the sort of improbable situation that happens in the lives of those courageous enough to trust and embrace the unknown. As their unorthodox relationship develops, it is apparent that there are levels to this film and to its characters that are implied and then left for the viewer to ponder. As we are told very little about the respective lives of this couple before their meeting, we can only wonder about the family histories that lead these two to find each other. Clearly, he is a father figure to her; just as clearly, he feels fatherly to her as well. She is undisciplined, drifting and directionless. He is precise, cultured, and lonely, and searching in his own way. A symbiotic emotional dynamic draws them further toward one another. While this film is touted as a vehicle for S&M eroticism, I find it to be quite romantic in actuality. As in the Story of O, our heroine is always free to choose whether she remains in her situation. The fact that she remains provokes one to think more deeply on what truly lies in the nature of the relationship between the sexes, as human needs and desires pay little heed to what society deems appropriate. The performances by the beautiful Veronica Pantoux and the quietly charismatic Jac Avila are subtle and patient. Likewise, director Hesketh allows the silences and the space needed to convey the intimacy here by pacing her scenes and her editing with a patience all too absent from modern films. While the salacious elements of nudity and S&M suggest an exploitation movie, Hesketh and her actors infuse their work with a finesse and a thoughtfulness that make it more akin to what some would call an "art film". See it with that special someone, then have a fun evening pursuing the ideas raised intellectually, if not visually!