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House of Pleasure: DVD Review

House of Pleasure: DVD Review

Rating: M
Released by Vendetta Films

A French drama film set at the turn of the 19th Century and set in a Parisian bordello - I imagine some of you  have already formed your own opinion of what this film could be about.

The film follows the women who work in the bordello and their clients as well as how they feel they will cope with the coming century and what it may bring. There's also an undercurrent of nastiness too as one woman's been mutilated (think Joker in Dark knight to get an idea) by one of her clients.

It's a sumptuously put together film which looks beautiful in terms of costume although it is to be honest, a little slow going as it meanders over the two hours running time. It's not a salacious film either - sure, the women don't look bad at all but a lot of the film is about sexual diseases which they're prone to and talk of money let alone any kind of sleazy shenanigans. Throw into the mix, a fifteen year old girl who wants to be a part of this life and you're left with an uneasy mix of social commentary and lounging around.

Occasionally, it's like looking at an art book from the time, reflecting on people and pastiches of life rather than specifically anything major happening. Sure, there's a sisterhood running through and a support network but after about 70 minutes, the lack of real pace becomes a problem and the film starts to feel like it's not going anywhere fast, any time soon.

Period drama it may be and while it's brilliantly recreated, you can't help but wish the relative lethargy would let up and some more drama kick in.