Besieged
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

Shandurai (Thandie Newton), a young African woman leaves her country after witnessing her husbands shocking political arrest. She migrates to Italy, enrolls in medical school and becomes a live-in maid for Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis), an eccentric bachelor musician. Mr. Kinsky becomes obsessed by his beautiful, graceful maid whom he secretly watches as she moves to recordings of primitive African music in her basement quarters. Shandurai becomes increasingly uncomfortable when her employer starts sending her gifts on the dumbwaiter along with his dirty laundry. When he sends her a valuable diamond ring, she decides she must confront him. When he hears of her husbands imprisonment, he promises to negotiate his freedom in return for her love. BESIEGED is a dramatic love story told mostly through its music and artistic photography. Mature audiences who appreciate the artistic style of Director Bernardo Bertolucci will find this 90-minute feature film well worth the price of admission.

The sexual tension between Shandurai and Mr. Kinsky builds slowly at first, then becomes explosive once he admits his feelings for the African woman. He makes no physical demands upon her and keeps his promise to buy her husbands freedom at a great personal sacrifice. Finally, Shandurai surrenders to her growing affection for Mr. Kinsky, and, in a graphic bedroom scene with breast nudity, she goes to bed with him after drinking a bottle of champagne. The opening scene of the arrest of Shandurais husband is so frightening for her that she loses control of her bladder. But the film has no foul language and no gratuitous violence. The films underlying theme asks the question, can either love or freedom be bought? If so, at what price? Overall, BESIEGED offers an intelligent love story without hitting us over the head with sex and nudity, then ruins it with one bedroom scene. The only purpose for this must have been to achieve the films R rating.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Fine Line Features, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10106, (212)649-4900

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: OnceModerate (man arrested/beaten)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied Once (coupled in bed together, breast nudity)
Nudity: Few times (breast nudity in sex scene; male nude statues shown briefly)
Homosexual Conduct: Once (two men in club dancing)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Sexual tension between man and woman builds
Drug Abuse: Few times (social drinking, woman drinks bottle of champagne)
Other: Man tries to buy love; woman tries to buy freedom for her husband
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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