Death-haunted, quietly reckless, Lucy is a young university student who takes a job as a Sleeping Beauty. In the Sleeping Beauty chamber old men seek an erotic experience that requires Lucy’s absolute submission. The unsettling task starts to bleed into Lucy’s daily life and she develops an increasing need to know what happens to her when she is asleep.
Its a rarity I find when the cinema lights go up there’s a slight look of confusion and a glance of intrigue in what I see, in this stunning piece of poetic cinema called SLEEPING BEAUTY. Now just for the sake of full disclosure this film is not for everybody, it has certain ‘themes’ throughout which might make some folk rather uncomfortable but for myself and being the film lover that I am it was just such a exceptional movie.
SLEEPING BEAUTY brings to the screen Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) in her best role to date, playing the role of Lucy a hard working university student who’s life simply seems to revolve around working, University, working, which is incredibly repetitive and finding ways of getting by.. in desperation leads her to answering an advertisement in the student newspaper wher she meets Clara played by Rachel Blake (Lantana) who initiates her as a lingerie waitress, from there she’s quietly auditioned for the role of a Sleeping Beauty in which requires her in absolute submission, from there Lucy’s intrigue sparks as to what goes on in the Sleeping Beauty Chamber where voyeurism starts to play a part.
I was quite floored by the performance by Browning this is quite the role for her to take on, but she just dominates every frame. Rachel Blake who plays the ‘Madam’ of the establishment, brings her all and the way she delivers some of the dialog (such as the trailer) it made me feel slightly uncomfortable but she just brought a presence to the role of Clara; who’s caring towards Lucy but doesn’t want to get to close, its a hard one to describe but Blake is just sensational in the role. I do believe though the stand out for me was Peter Carroll who plays the character simply known as ‘Man 2’ he brings this immense pain and feeling to the role, throughout the films climax. The Set designer for this movie also deserves a mention as well; it was just incredible how they made some of these shots look especially the Sleeping Beauty Chamber and the ‘Dinner Party’.
Its hard to pinpoint the actual reason why I loved this film maybe because theres just to many options, but for me I’m usually there for the thumping score and amazing special effects but this had neither, throughout the film there was many moments where there was no music at all just silence….where your imagination was left to work for itself it was understated to the point that it worked. As you can see by what I have written throughout this review there are parts which I have found hard to write about, I think in this instance it could be a good thing, as I sit here trying to write this I find myself starting to over analyse the film and what it meant, to me I shouldn’t be doing either, yes there might be some undertones to the film which people may find disturbing or unrelated and there is no doubt there are people who work in this world who would obviously feel for the Lucy character which is understandable, but how can we relate on something we have never experienced ourselves? In all, you need to approach this film with an open mind.
SLEEPING BEAUTY is a film that is beautifully shot and extremely well written, with amazing performances throughout.
I give SLEEPING BEAUTY 4 out of 5 stars and is in Cinemas on the 23rd of June. Click here to see the trailer.