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PLEASURE (2021, SWE) Movie review, plot, trailer, rating

Linnea (debutant Sofia Kappel) is a 19-year-old from a Swedish town who decided to look for happiness in America. Neither the first nor the last, a man would think, a young woman who decided to achieve her ambitions in California, and already on arrival at the Los Angeles airport when a customs officer asks her the reason for her arrival, work or pleasure (Business or Pleasure?), She will short thinking respond pleasure. From the beginning it is clear to us what is the arrival of this young handsome blonde who will soon start introducing herself as Bella Cherry. Her dream is to become the next big porn star and she is ready to do anything to achieve it, but this naive and confident girl will realize that it is not so easy and that there are countless girls like her who have the same ideas.

Bella will realize very quickly that working in the porn industry is very far from pleasure and from what she imagined when she boarded the plane. She assumed that with an attractive look, charm and a lot of work, she would soon realize her dreams and become a star, but it would soon become clear to her that if she wanted to, she had to agree to some rather sick, perverse and dark things. Once she crosses the border, she will realize that there is no going back, and after she starts breaking through on that slimy and perverted scene, she will realize that she is starting to behave the same way that people from the porn industry initially treated her.

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This provocative and explicit realistic drama by Swedish Ninja Thyberg caused quite a bit of controversy even before it was shown. “Pleasure” was supposed to be shown in canceled Cannes in 2020, later it had its premiere in Sundance, and it also won the main prize at the festival in Motovun. Thyberg was also nominated for European Discovery of the Year, and apart from the younger Swede Sofie Kappel who (I guess) is not a porn actress, practically all the other characters were embodied by real people from the porn industry. And it really seems extremely realistic and obviously Thyberg did a good job of researching the field before she started filming (she also made a short film of the same name) and she managed to follow this whole story from the perspective of the main protagonist.

Throughout the film we have a bit of a voyeuristic atmosphere and around Bella are constantly stiffened dicks usually of types who are at least twice as old as her. Despite the fact that there is no explicit depiction of sex, it is clear to us what she has to go through, and although no one nominally forces her to shoot more and more extreme and strange scenes, it is clear from the beginning that she is not very lucky if she does not agree to everything. looking for her. So very soon Bella from the beginning of the classic Boy – Girl scene will cross all the extremes hidden by the porn industry, but we’ll see if it will make her especially happy. It is a film that practically makes the viewer uncomfortable from the beginning to the end, and this was probably the author’s intention.

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Probably the first association to some mainstream film about the porn industry is Paul Thomas Anderson’s legendary “Boogie Nights” whose plot unfolds at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s. But, apart from the fact that “Pleasure” is told from a woman’s perspective, that is, from the perspective of a naive girl who probably doesn’t even dream of what awaits her, we see what the porn industry has turned into in those forty years. On the other hand, it is not one of those films whose goal is to somehow anathematize the porn industry and portray that business as if it were some pure evil. This is a film that tries to explore the hyperrealistic, almost documentary life of what such a girl’s life might look like, who wants not only to try, but also to succeed in that business. And not only is he trying to explore, “Pleasure” really does bring an amazing insight into the life of this entire hemisphere. 7.5 / 10.

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