Exotica (1994)


By Richard Winters

My Rating: 8 out of 10

4-Word Review: Obsessed with a stripper.

This is a fascinating and engrossing character study interweaving different characters and stories together until they become one. Bruce Greenwood plays Francis an accountant who frequents a strip bar and becomes fixated on a particular dancer named Christina (Mia Kirshner). Elias Koteas is the club D.J. who notices this obsession and becomes jealous since he at one time had a relationship with her. Thomas (Don Mckellar) is the nebbish pet shop owner who has a secret as well as a key between the three.

This is thoroughly compelling stuff that’s impossible to predict. The characters are believable, exposing traits you just don’t see in them at the start. Much like people you’d meet and get to know in real life each scene becomes like a piece to the puzzle.

Director Atom Egoyan may be a little too obsessed with tying everything together taking the final scene one step too far. Yet he still creates an interesting subtext. He seems to show how interconnected we all are to one another and how we can relate on different levels. The simple fact that we are human connects us no matter how ‘disconnected’ we may feel or be.

The sex club atmosphere is also taken from a different angle. He shows a much more complex and psychological motive behind it and how sex is only one element in it.

Like with Egoyan’s other films this thing is filled with a lot of philosophical banter and is quite humorless with a tendency to be a bit ‘heavy’. However, unlike The Sweet Hereafter it keeps moving and doesn’t get completely bogged down in it.

On the technical end the lighting is too washed out. The music selection is good, but oppressive. Overall though the film achieves what it wants too. It keeps your attention and remains thought provoking throughout.

My Rating: 8 out of 10

Released: May 16, 1994

Runtime: 1Hour 43Minutes

Rated R

Director: Atom Egoyan

Studio: Miramax

Available: VHS, DVD, Blu-ray

4 responses to “Exotica (1994)

  1. Hmmm, looks like you may have done it again, looks very interesting, never heard of this, going to look into it, many thanks!!

  2. just ordered on AMZ, will post again in a week or two after I’ve watched it….

  3. I found this to be a very interesting and enjoyable Canadian made film. It has a hypnotic, entrancing quality to it. The dialog is very subtle and it’s up to the viewer to glean the little messages the story is trying to get across about human interaction and relationships. It was great to see a younger Bruce Greenwood who is always great but the real star of this movie is the guy that plays the DJ, he totally takes his role to another level almost reminding me of Joel Grey in Cabaret, he’s pulling all the strings. Very cool flick and thanks again for the reco!!

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