Whore

Theresa Russell not only stars in Ken Russell's adaptation of David Hines's play Bondage but dominates it from beginning to end, and considering the narrowness of the character she's playing, it's an impressive performance. The material, adapted by the director and Deborah Dalton, is as relentlessly deglamorized and brutal a look at a street hooker's existence as one can find in commercial movies, and virtually all of its interest resides in this fact; as drama or as character study it is fairly threadbare. A good deal of it consists of the heroine addressing the camera (her pimp, played by Benjamin Mouton, gets in an extended soliloquy as well) or supplying offscreen narration to flashbacks. Ken Russell, as usual, can't quite trust the material to speak for itself and generally delivers it in shrieking neon (whenever someone bleeds in one of his films, you can always count on a hemorrhage), but he hasn't prevented the overall message from coming through loud and clear. With Antonio Fargas, Sanjay, and Elizabeth Morehead (1991).

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