Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Daryl Hannah, Denise Richards, Joaquim de Almeida, María Jiménez, Africa
Director: María Lidón
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A graduate student (Denise Richards) in need of money is coaxed by her prostitute neighbor (Daryl Hannah) to enter the world?s oldest profession. Based on a best selling novel, their story is interwoven with stunning inte... more »
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Crappy filmmaking, completely incongruous elements.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 02/12/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This film looks like a botched rough cut. Given the material they had, what might have emerged from this footage is probably an unflinching documentary which examines "the life" in prostitution. Instead, what we have is about one short film's worth of fictitious narrative-film footage, shot with big-name actors and proper production values, intercut with narratively befuddled interviews that don't build towards anything, and some of the worst "special effects" I've ever seen on a commercially available DVD product.
Director Luna (Maria Lidon)'s "post-modern techniques" are the main thing that screwed this film up. The film is so busy throwing transitions, still photographs and random imagery at you that it forgets to draw you in. Editing decisions appear to have been made based on what might look cool visually instead of what's engaging dramatically. And Lord knows why Daryl Hannah (who made a blazing comeback in the Kill Bill films), the terrific Joaquim de Almeida, and mainstream star Denise Richards agreed to be in this crap -- it looks like the producers ran out of money a quarter of the way through production and tried to patch it up with "verite" documentary footage shot on the cheap and bad, low-grade stills and videography effects.
Most grievously, the narrative footage and the documentary footage don't connect. The only way this intercutting style could work is if the two halves are relatively balanced in proportion (think of the voice-over segments and the story segments in the first two thirds of Memento), and if each half is directly relevant to the other. But the documentary segments in The Life are narratively aimless, and fail to really establish the characters of the prostitutes, gigolos and madams who populate them. And the fictional segments added together form a completely generic girl-turned-prostitute story that hits all the tired story marks, with nary a unique dramatic moment in sight. Two bad films edited together do not make a good one...in fact, The Life feels like one and a half bad films. The documentary segment alone, if properly put together, might have been interesting (provided you kill those cheesy effects), and the narrative segments might have formed an acceptable if unremarkable short narrative film. Instead, together, each only serves to deepen the other's stink.
If you want a story about the sex industry, try This Girl's Life, which was a relatively sensitive, engaging look at an internet porn star, with fine acting moments from Juliette Marquis, James Woods and Michael Rapaport. The Life, on the other hand, is a pointless exercise in post-modern b.s. videography and editing which tries to show off its hipness but ends up flushing its own potential assets down the toilet."
RKL | Asheville, NC | 02/16/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Deceptive package. The amount of time spent by the two female leads onscreen is basically an afterthought. Way too much time is spent interviewing real hookers/pimps/gigilos. Can you say boring?! There are also issues with the captioning/subtitles way out of sync with the film. Low tech 2ch sound, grainy picture. It is worth watching to see Denise Richards get 'doggied', although way too briefly. For rental only by hard core fans of Richards and Hannah."
Don't waste your time!
Go Flight | NY | 02/09/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I only gave this movie 1 star becasue I wasn't able to give it zero (0) stars. Fans of Denise Richards and/or Darryl Hannah will be disappointed. Reading the plot you think it's a twist on Wild Things. Basically it's a documentary talking to prostitutes. Richards and Hanna are in the movie for about 5 minutes total screen time. Pick yourself something else to watch."
A realistic portrayal of "The Life"...
Yasmin Element | Canberra, ACT, Australia | 08/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a sex worker for ten years and much like Denie Richards character in the film, I started working and took on "The Life" as a way to pay my way through my education.
I now have a degree in journalism and have published many stories on the topic of sex work.
Although I don't think that "The Life", or "Puta" as it was originally called in Spain, works very well as a film - i can honestly say that it is a realistic representation of the many facets of the sex industry. Although the overall feel of the film seems nostalgically warm towards the industry, it shows both the good, the bad and the ugly sides of this generally misunderstood career choice.
If you are hoping for a sexy movie starring hollywood starlets Denise Richards and Daryl Hannah - don't bother with this title.
However, if you are interested in the mysterious world of the oldest profession - perhaps you are thinking about a career change or maybe like the main character in the movie, you are simply studying the sex trade at college - i think you will enjoy this film and find it honest and insightful."