An hour and twenty one minutes, well shot film, with virtually no point. This film tried to be edgy, new wave, and controversial; instead it was simply bad.
The character list is about all anyone needs to know about this film. A cross-dressing, dominatrix, Russian version of Borat faces the camera periodically and talks to the viewer. He tries to make some point about the hell and heaven, how filth and wisdom are two sides of the same coin. He makes his living by dressing up and degrading men. A ballet dancer becomes a stripper. A pharmacy assistant steals pills and is obsessed with starving African children. A pharmacist lusts after his assistant and does unmentionables to her coat. A blind poet lives downstairs. In the end, they all live happily ever after.
This film goes absolutely no where. The point about filth and wisdom being polar opposites or the two sides of a coin is just not fleshed out.
The film is directed and co written by Madonna. It seems like she is trying to paint a picture of three people living together in a house, with their individual problems and difficult lives, but how they are all related in some manner. The film tries way too hard to be something intelligent.
The cinematography is excellent. This is a very well shot film, save one ridiculous shaky handheld camera moment when the blind poet throws all his books on the floor. The lighting is excellent. Sound is surprisingly well recorded, several squeaking doors sound very real in the surround channels. The music is absolutely abysmal, such a surprise considering Madonna's real calling. The pacing is good, the story moves along at a decent pace. The real problem is in the script.
The film is not rated but would be R for strong language. There is no nudity, a lot of underwear, but no naked bits. And very sadly, this is the real problem. The B&D scenes are particularly lame, real stunt people never did any of the hitting or stunts. Canings, beltings, and kicking's never come anywhere near the recipient, they are almost funny.
I disliked this film. It should be a good independent film, and I love to support that part of the industry. This just comes off as a film made by somebody with more money than sense.