Eric, an Amsterdam artist who seems to specialize in sculpture and paintings of the perverse variety, spends much of his time wandering around the streets of Amsterdam, picking up young female lovers who he disposes of directly after with no remorse, even keeping mementos of his conquests in a scrapbook. While Eric's promiscuous nature implies a care-free spirit, he is deeply haunted by the memory of the only woman he ever loved, Olga. Told almost entirely in flashback, Paul Verhoeven's Turkish Delight is a sexually-charged psychological drama following the epicurean adventures of a deeply flawed couple. Like most of Verhoeven's work, the emotions and style are elevated above normalcy, giving Turkish Delight an energy which equals its main protagonist's lifestyle. Behind Verhoeven's brash expose of a flawed couple lies a poignant study of love and life, capturing the fragility of humanity and the power of our emotions. Olga and Eric are quite unlikeable characters by traditional standards, but Turkish Delight packs an emotional punch regardless, something Verhoeven deserves a lot of credit for. Verhoeven's direction flawlessly encapsulates the emotions of its characters, my favorite example of this being a sequence where Olga and Eric quarrel in their apartment - with Verhoeven adding the abrupt downpour of rain that ef, capturing Olga's emotional state. Paul Verhoeven's Turkish Delight is a bold effort from the always brash filmmaker which encapsulates the fragility of humanity in a way only Verhoeven could.
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