As the actors move fluidly between various states, shedding one skin while assuming another, Polanski makes this subversive parlour game matter.
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Polanski’s unavoidably stagy adaptation of David Ives’ celebrated Broadway play is an enjoyably witty two-hander, confined to its theatre setting, yet with much to say about gender roles in the world beyond.
There’s a masterfully light touch at work, both from the director and his two wonderful actors. They make this chamber piece lip-smacking entertainment, giving the dense text the semblance of more intellectual heft or sexual transgression than it ultimately contains.
After years of respectable filmmaking, it's refreshing to witness a reinvigorated Roman Polanski willing to once again delve deep into seedy psychodrama.
With the themes of this play not exactly subtle or delicate, particularly at the climax, it all becomes a bit grating -- inescapable in its heavy-handedness.
At its very best his Venus in Fur is a clever and often comical two-hander, with Amalric and Seigner both giving tour de force performances.
Despite being very much a “filmed play” it doesn’t come across as too theatrical. Polanski uses plenty of close-ups and keeps the action moving.
Venus In Fur is a playful if occasionally heavy-handed jeu d'ésprit on the subject of sexual role-play, the games we all play, illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act.
This is a fun piece of play-acting for as long as it lasts, but it never quite feels like much more. Things may become kinky in front of the lens, but you can sense Polanski lurking behind it throughout, always ready with his safe-word. Cut!
A delightfully intricate battle of wits and wills in which the question of who’s directing/seducing/torturing whom remains constantly shifting open to interpretation.