Based off the events of the real-life Strauss-Kahgn case, which found a french diplomat charged with sexual assault and later acquitted due to lack of hard evidence, Abel Ferrera's Welcome to New York is a powerful film about the influence power and money has over our criminal justice system, doing so in a way that only Mr. Ferrera seems capable of. In this recreation of the story we are introduced to Mr. Devereaux, a powerful French diplomat with a frenzied sexual hunger that is unquenchable. Ferrara simply couldn't have cast anyone better for the role than Gerard Depardieu, who personifies this gluttonous pig of a man who is completely intoxicated by his own power and sexual desires. Depardieu snorts and snarls during his character's sexual exploits, giving the character a very animalistic quality, personifying a man who has let his primal nature consume him, where intellect and morality are thrown by the wayside. Ferrara is a filmmaker that has never been afraid to examine despicable characters, and with Welcome to New York he ventures into the psyche of this man, revealing how privilege and power enable corruption. With a narrative structure that jumps all around the timeline of this powerful man, Ferrara paints a portrait of a horrible human being, exposing a man who is capable of rape, being extremely dangerous due to his power and penchant for sex. One of the more singular aspects of Welcome to New York is how much the film ventures into the psyche of this man, a man who truly seems to believe he hasn't done something wrong, viewing himself as a victim of the world around him. Through this characters' story Ferrara displays how little the incentive is to stand up for corruption on both an intellectual and psychological level, arguing that it's so much easier to succumb to one's own power when in these situations, using sexual desire and rape as an extreme example of this. Aesthetically pleasing, Welcome to New York uses lighting to great effect, particularly during the darker, sexual exploits of its main protagonist, with the hotel rooms and hallways of his sexual exploits soaked in shadows. Welcome to New York is a seething takedown of corruption and power conducted in a way only Abel Ferrara could provide, pushing the viewer to try and understand the deeper issues into why men of power so often end up doing such vile things.
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