Let's talk about sex, baby!
Can pleasure be sinful?
As Freudian as that may sound, that question is the sole premise of Original Sin.
Based on Cornell Woolrich’s Waltz into Darkness , set in 19th century Cuba, Original Sin. delves on love and lust.
More on the latter, as the screen sizzles in this boudoir noir film as the lead pair gets hot and heavy. But butt and breast don’t make for a heady combination and you’re left disappointed, as the film has nothing more to offer.
Senor Luis Vargas (Antonio Banderas), is the well-to-do coffee export house owner, who’s in a hurry to meet his mail-order wife Julia (Anjelina Jolie).
But luscious Angelina Jolie, isn’t exactly the Plane Jane he had expected to meet. Julia confesses that she misled him with a photograph of another woman because she didn’t want him to fall for the pretty face.
The two are wed even before you can bat an eyelid. Courtship begins later. And Vargas falls head over heels with the wife.
But pouty Julia, is still not the woman she claims to be. Her closet...oops...travel case is filled with skeletons by the dozen and before you can say Havana, she goes missing. With all of Vargas’ money, of course!
Vargas finds her and the two are reunited, body and soul. The truth is out. Julia tells him that she’s Bonny Castle, a woman with a dubious past.
Vargas, is willing to put it all behind them. Detective Downs (Thomas Jane) isn’t. He’s been hired to find the actual Julia, and thinks that Bonny had something to do with her death.
Vargas shoots him down to save his wife from harm. But though Downs down, he’s not out.
Apparently he is Bonny’s accomplice cum ex-lover Billy, who had earlier loaded Vargas’ revolver with blanks.
Wait, there is more deceit, deception and debauchery ensue. But it’s less complicated than it sounds.
For all its opulence and melodrama, Original Sin. is not the film it could turn out to be. As the plot becomes increasingly haphazard, the settings get more claustrophobic. Also the twists and turns go on way too long.
That could be attributed to director Michael Cristofer's heavy emphasis on the slo-mo, reverberating sound and wheeling camera movements. Which also contribute to the film’s lack of pace.
Original Sin is trash erotica. Nothing more, nothing less.
Producers: Denise Di Novi, Kate Guinzburg, Carol Lees
Screenwriter-director: Michael Cristofer
Director of photography: Rodrigo Prieto
Production designer: David J Bomba
Music: Terence Blanchard
Costume designer: Donna Zakowska
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Jack Thompson, Gregory Itzin