The titular Kelly (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) and Victor (Julian Morris) meet at a club on his 28th birthday. After which they go back to her place and snort something called meow meow then have unprotected sex where it becomes apparent she’s something of a sadist, strangling him (with no negotiation and what appears to be without his consent).
Kelly’s dominatrix friend, Victoria (Claire Keelan) offers her cash to watch her with a client. I wonder how many times this trope has appeared in film/television. (I could not find this trope listed on TV Tropes, but it must be there! Will search further. For science.)
Meanwhile, a couple of Victor’s hopeless and hapless friends are on their way to try to start their drug-dealing business. ‘Hopeless’ is the key word. You know it’s going to go terribly.
Then it’s time for The Vanilla Watches the Dominatrix with her Client. Parts of this are interspersed with Victor thinking about his time with Kelly—she’s very much into breath-play.
Aside from the kinky aspect, it’s one of those films where, within days of meeting, at least one person says they would do anything for the other person. Perhaps I’m not romantic, but this will always make me roll my eyes. After two days this new person could be a serial killer and you wouldn’t know. Hell, she could be the sort of person who’d clean out your bank account the second she had a chance.
Isn’t there some saying about not sticking your dick in crazy? Or about how crazy chicks are always good in bed?
Is it: I try not to stick my dick in crazy, but crazy chicks are just so good in bed?
Whatever it is, it’s like this film was trying to be an extended metaphor for it. I expected one of Victor’s friends to show up at the end and tell his kids what happened to ‘Uncle Victor’ like some warped version of How I Met Your Mother.
There’s some very unconsensual cutting with a piece of glass—where he’s actually saying he doesn’t like something and she does it anyway. It doesn’t show blood or her doing it—just his reaction—but that was intense and especially horrible.
Then another trope happens later that’s a big eyeroll, but I can’t say what it is without spoiling anything. Kelly’s into kink due to an abusive ex. Can you hear my sigh from where you are? Trying going outside and waiting for the wind to shift direction.
They eventually sort out a non-verbal safe signal, but, by the time they got to that part Bean collapsed over and said, ‘Do any movies get kink right?!’
When your vanilla friend is exasperated by this sort of thing it’s time to call everyone and say, ‘Hey, folks… No. Even the aware vanillas are fed up.’
It’s based on a novel of the same name by Niall Griffiths, which has me somewhat intrigued, but also not. I have a feeling the appeal lies mostly in the scenery and the performances, which were quite good.
Kelly and her dominatrix friend had an interesting conversation about why she did what she did for work. She seemed far more knowledgeable about human nature than Kelly, who thought the man who was paying them was weird.
But unconsensually strangling and cutting people during sex without so much as a, ‘Hey? Know what I think is fun?’ is normal?!
There are many scenes of the countryside, which is stunning. IMDB says it was filmed in Liverpool, but it also says it’s an Ireland and U.K. production, and the countryside looks quite Irish to me, so take that as you will.
The acting is top-rate, as is the cinematography; my only complaint is the lack of accurate BDSM, but that’s sort of a given in films, as I’ve discussed on the show.
Overall, I’d recommend this one if you’re into relationship films that aren’t the typical light-hearted fare. 4/5