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Call Girl 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars (17) IMDb 6.5/10

Sweden in the late 70s seems like the perfect society, with neutral politics and women's liberation dominating the media. But beneath the polished surface lurks a corrupt, seedy underworld of strip shows and sex clubs where dreams are made and lives are destroyed. Iris, a young girl from the bottom rung of society, works as a call girl within this murky world.

Starring:
David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez, Pernilla August
Runtime:
2 hours, 14 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Mikael Marcimain
Starring David Dencik, Ruth Vega Fernandez, Pernilla August, Kristoffer Joner
Supporting actors Magnus Krepper, Sverrir Gudnason, Claes Ljungmark, Sven Nordin, Sofia Karemyr, Simon J. Berger, Josefin Asplund, Anders Beckman
Studio Curzon Artificial Eye
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is yet another film that is `based on true events', which normally means that a bit of poetic licence has been taken. It is linked to a Swedish scandal called Bordellhärvan which linked under age prostitution with high ranking types. Set in the early seventies we meet Iris who is a problem child and has been in and out of institutions. She ends up at a care home for the young. There she gets re-united with her old friend Sonja. Life is pretty dull so they start to bunk off and go for kicks and cigarettes to the local town.

A couple of older girls introduce them to one of their rich pervy friends who likes young girls to dance round his flat as 'nature intended'. Soon they are brought to meet a top flight Madame, Dagmar Glans (Pernilla August). Before they know what is happening they are being ferried around to top class and top paying clients, which include politicians and dogging parties. Whilst the police try to discover what is going on, it soon becomes obvious that some people are too big to hurt and some people are entirely dispensable.

This is set against the political liberalism of the early seventies where everyone had the right to do whatever they wanted etc, but where it was still illegal to procure children for sex. The politics of the time is cleverly juxtaposed against the plight of the girls and the lust of those in power. The music is all of the period so you get Roxy Music, Abba and the Bee Gees which is all great. The fashions are appropriately awful too this is all platforms, parties and pimps.

Whilst the subject matter is quite disturbing, this is a very engaging film. I was hooked from the start and not because of the sex and nudity, but because of the strong performances and great direction.
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This is an intelligent and very watchable film about prostitution, exploitation, power, corruption and politics in mid-seventies Sweden. Focussing primarily on a teenage delinquent who, along with her cousin, is groomed to become a call girl and the police investigation into the vice ring that controls them (and also provides call girls for top ranking government ministers and civil servants) it is, despite the bleakness of the subject matter, an enjoyable film.

Much of the acting is outstanding, the evocation of the seventies through music and fashion is very authentic and everybody chain smokes. The political side of things is kept to a minimum and mainly centres around attempts to obstruct and censor the police investigation by those with the most to lose. The nudity and sex scenes are always tastefully presented, are not in any way gratuitous and always central to the plot.
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I'd have to say that the image on the DVD box cover didn't really prepare me for what this film is actually about. The photo of the two tarted-up teenage girls lolling about with a tough looking 'madame' between them & a couple of nebulous male figures in the background gives little hint as to the nature of the gritty political thriller that is at the heart of "Call Girl".

Right off the bat the viewer is introduced to the rebellious teenage girl, Iris, who is being handed over to a juvenile detention facility by her distraught mother, whilst elsewhere, a bunch of mysterious investigative skull-duggery by some official looking types is being enacted. The setting/time frame for the film is the lead up to a national election in 70's Sweden and as the film progresses it becomes a lengthy back-story to explain the opening events. The narrative initially follows the lives of young Iris and a close girlfriend as they get sucked into a world of prostitution by a well organized female pimp named Dagmar who runs a massive call girl ring that, as we find out, caters to a lot of highly placed political figures in the Swedish government. As the plot progresses - an internal government investigation is launched that starts to un-cover the unsavory sexual shenanigans of the politicians and much consternation ensues - people are threatened - people are killed - and the teenage girls find themselves caught up in the midst of it all.

The prostitution aspect of the film provides ample opportunity for there to be a fair amount of female nudity and sexual activity portrayed - but the overarching theme of political intrigue renders it all pretty un-arousing... so if one is looking for some titillating viewing experience - that is not what THIS 'Call Girl' movie provides.
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If a film is about Sweden and the 1970's, I'm so there - and it was for this reason I purchased this film. However, this is more than just a period piece, it is about corruption, both of youth and the kind that power creates, and it takes the gloss off of the almost utopian view people had of Sweden during that time. Politicians claim to be for women's rights, for feminism, for child care and for the protection of children, and yet ruthlessly exploit underage prostitutes, whose lives are wrecked as a result.

The film is set around the 1976 general election in Sweden; this election brought about a change in government, and this event is recorded. However, the new government is instantly shown to be as corrupt as the previous one.

All in all, a very dim view of a period - but nevertheless, the authentic feel of this film, the measured acting and the cinematography all make it a compelling spectacle. Highly recommended.
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