Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going Down

2007 bust Descent (not to be confused with 2005's THE Descent, which I'm sure is an infinitely better movie) stars Rosario Dawson as a college student who gets raped and then plots and exacts revenge on her attacker. It was directed and co-written by Talia Lugacy. So, it seemed promising: a female filmmaker dealing with women's issues, Rosario Dawson getting a chance to act instead of just being pouty and busty, and a controversial premise with the potential to say something powerful and substantial about rape, misogyny, gender roles in society, and what it means to be a woman in general.

Well, Descent says NOTHING, and it takes forever to do so. Lugacy had the floor, and she wasted it. Just because she's a female director, I'm not expecting her to right all of the wrongs committed against women or to make some huge stand in favor of feminism. But come on, say something...anything! I think I know what her stand IS, but from watching the film, there's no way to tell. It's boring, muddled, pretentious nonsense. There's no point to it. Descent is way-too-consciously moody, unnecessarily graphic, and ugly (in appearance and story), and to what end? It seems like it's desperately trying to be edgy, but it doesn't prove or achieve anything. It's certainly not empowering like I believe Lugacy wanted it to be...or like she arrogantly seems to think it is from the few minutes of interview I saw.

As a viewer, but more importantly as a woman, I wasn't moved or affected at all. At least if it offended me or made me angry or shocked me, that'd be something tangible that I could grasp from this experience. Descent is simply too inconsequential to trigger any of those reactions. I saw it well over a month ago, but I forgot it almost instantaneously. It doesn't even have the distinction of being memorably bad. I only remembered because I saw a note I had jotted to write a review of it. Rosario Dawson didn't make an impression on me either. I was rooting for her, but she only has one really good scene. Other than that, she's bland and just about as forgettable as the movie itself.

I wish I could say something more profound, but I've got nothing. "Nothing" is the key word when it comes to this non-movie. Descent is nothing. It's less than nothing. It doesn't deserve a passing thought, much less a viewing.

Rating: Zero stars.

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