Deeply in love with her boyfriend, Marie, a schoolteacher, is struggling to deal with the complete lack of intimacy between the two of them. With frustration mounting, Marie attempts to fulfill her sexual desires through other men. Feeding her sexual appetite, Maria goes further and further down the rabbit-hole of sexual desires, even developing a sadomachiosnitic relationship with the headmaster of her school. Catherine Breillat's Romance was a horribly misunderstood film that was foolishly dismissed as pornography by a host of countries on its release. This critique is utter nonsense given that Breillat's film is one of the most pensive explorations of female psychology, giving the viewer the perspective of Maria in a world where she feels secondary to her boyfriend both sexually and from an identity viewpoint. The film represents the clash of love and sexuality between men and women, told entirely from Maria's point of view. Nothing about Romance attempts to titilate the viewer, with Maria using these extreme acts of carnal desire as a way of seizing control or power for herself in a society where she is alotted very little. Maria's sexual encounters are almost entirely passive; there is nothing reciprocal as she uses sex for entirely selfish means. While I would admit the film starts off in a way that makes those unfamiliar with Breilat in a bit of shock and awe, by the end, Romance shows us a portrait of a woman who feels undesired and unwanted, extinguishing self doubt by sexual means in this powerful expose of women living in a male centric society.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.