Maya (Rosario Dawson) is like many other college coeds, book smart yet shy, curious about sex, yet scared to let herself go. One night she meets Jared (played by Chad Faust). When their courtship turns from romantic to hor... more »rific in a single violent act, Maya's world is ripped inside-out. Shutting out everyone in her life, Maya loses herself to a dark throbbing underworld of drugs and sexual experimentation. Lured by club DJ Adrian (Marcus Patrick), she awakens to a cold and vicious new strength, determined to seek revenge. But will Maya's downward spiral consume and destroy her - or will she be saved by its power? "Dawson's intricate, imaginative performance equals those of Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver and Hillary Swank in Boys Don't Cry. Essential to see." --Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times« less
Greg G. (Gregoodsell) from BAKERSFIELD, CA Reviewed on 8/7/2011...
Beautiful black college student is raped by stupid white jock, she doesn’t report it, gets a job folding blouses at a boutique, starts hanging at a pretentious sex-nightclub, lays a trap for the rapist and --- Our heroine turns to the camera to shed a tear – not from guilt, but for missing out on all that hot, sweaty, man-on-man action. DESCENT is pretentious, s-l-o-w and steals ideas from REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (dig those inter-titles, “Spring,” “Summer,” “Fall”). Can a film on racism, homophobia, and exploitation be simultaneously racist, homophobic and exploitative? The answer offered up by DESCENT is hell yeah!
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Demanding you to answer if two wrongs make a right.
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 03/12/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a revenge film, this is more realistic than others of it's like and it also seems more of a thinking persons revenge film. This film not only moved me in a way, but will stay with me probably for some time. I like this film but I didn't love it the way I wanted to. "Descent" isn't for the weak minded and again this film is not for the religious right and the NC-17 rating is appropriate for just two scenes. This film was good to a certain extent and the main reason it truly held me was how it played with my psych. I have always felt that a person who rapes women deserves to be punished exactly the way they have destroyed their victim(s), but this film made me hesitate a bit but didn't change my mine at all.
We see Maya (Rosario Dawson) as a bright college student, who is shy about love, but seeking a connection to another human being. At a party she meets Jared (Chad Faust), a greasy jock who is relentless with his come-ons. Falling under his charms, she takes a chance on him, leading to a romantic evening that culminates with her rape. Destroyed, Maya withdraws from her world, spending time in a complete drug-fueled fog. Only when the opportunity for revenge presents itself a year later does she begin to show signs of renewed life.
I give it 3 stars because you can see it's low budget roots but it's more arty direction does much to cover that up. I like Dawson in most of her roles and on this film it wasn't any different. In this film you really feel her damage but at the same time I feel bad for her. She throws herself into this role with wild, wanton abandon and is at times totally remarkable. While I admire the courage filming this must have taken on her part I still can't help but wish such an effort was given towards a worthier effort. The men are the standouts however, and Chad Faust is a very brave actor indeed. It's very sad to watch this character's downfall after she is raped but it is equally sad to see all characters dismantled piece by piece at the core. Lugacy's direction is well done but I may have cut a bit of club scenes as some seemed overly long without adding much more insight.
I appreciate the end in that it makes you complete but also leaves you thinking as it does seem that maybe the revenge has also left the character a little empty as if she's somehow disembodied from it. I do think that was the right way to go but the only thing I wouldn't do is cry. The entire movie in fact does not seem to pass any judgment on it's characters, leaving all the judging to the viewer as long as you can handle the subject matter. There is no female nudity and no consensual sex; there is just rape and its psychological impact. In the end this movie leaves you awash in a residue of sadness, mildly recommended. "
Brillant Evocative Film. HORRIBLE!!! Dvd Transfer.
Chris P. Decostanza | 02/12/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"i am in agreement with what has been said of the film by the reviews already on this page. my comment therefore is about the dvd itself. a most dis- appointing transfer. especially in the final scene when Mia gets her revenge on Jarrod. when i saw the film in theaters everything was crisp clear and sharp but on the dvd leads Rosario Dawson, Chad Faust and Marcus Patrick look like orange people from Mars. not only that but the rest of the screen is so dark you can hardly differentiate anything as you could cleary do so in theaters. again one of the most disappointing dvd transfers ever."
A gritty look at rape and revenge
Jason | Backwater, Alabama | 05/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Mya (Rosario Dawson) is a somewhat reclusive college student who doesn't really have interaction with many men. She's so reserved that her parents have begun to worry about her. At one early point in the movie it appears that Mya may even have some thoughts of exploring homosexuality.
I can't go further without mentioning the fact that Rosario Dawson is compelling in her performance, morphing from innocent to wrecked, and eventually to psycho-sexual yet confused strength.
Anyway, Jared is a goofy looking, cookie eating, frat-boy with stalker tendencies. He has an atrociously borderline mullet, the skull structure reminiscent of a sketch after an alien abduction, the most horribly pretentious pickup lines in history, advances more awkward than a WNBA player walking in high-heels, and an agenda so obvious that it can be from Jupiter.
It's only a matter of time before Jared's polished routine manages to convince a naïve Mya into the frat's basement. How she didn't perceive his creepiness, which jumped off the screen the minute his opening credits rolled, is beyond me. However, he was somehow seductive enough to get her to engage in some kissing. When Mya wanted it to end, Jared didn't, and he raped her. Many may feel the scene is somewhat weak, or not brutal enough for a rape scene, but it's quite possible for someone to simply go catatonic during a traumatic experience, and there is a point at which even the strongest mind gives up fighting.
Afterwards Mya is psychologically destroyed, going throughout her graduation and daily life like Jodie Foster from Nell. At night, however, she's the polar opposite, and looking for satisfaction, understanding, and healing through alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity. In this lifestyle, she begins to take pleasure dominating others - mentally, physically, and sexually.
It is only when she has gained full control of her emotions that she can trule overcome her anguish, gain her inner strength, and find the resolution for which she's been searching. The final chilling sequence is jaw-dropping, and I didn't know whether to cheer or gasp. It's truly risque, and challenges the viewer to decide whether the old "eye for an eye" adage has any merit."
Shocking Sex Thriller
HKNYC Man | New York, NY United States | 02/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever since this picture opened The Tribeca Film Festival this past year, the underground buzz on it has been crazy, so I just had to see it for myself. I can only imagine the looks on people's faces in the audience when the final scene arrived and we see just how clever Rosario's character scores revenge on her rapist with the help of her sexy beast friend played by the very perfect Marcus Patrick! I loved it! OMG! Very gutsy and original picture. Only an indie studio would have the nerve to release it. Gotta love the indies! Great stuff."