Holy Smoke!
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -4

TITANIC star Kate Winslett plays Ruth, an Australian who visits India on a holiday with friends and falls under the hypnotic spell of a Hindu guru. Ruths horrified mother (Julie Hamilton) brings her sari-wrapped, chosen daughter back to Sydney where Ruth is soon turned over to a de-programmer, P.J. Waters (Harvey Keitel). Unattractive, middle-aged P.J. takes a defiant Ruth to a shack in the Australian outback for a three-day session. Right away this one-on-one confrontation becomes a war of wills. Just when it looks like P.J. has earned his $10,000 fee, Ruth gains control, and he melts. Seeing a grown man allow a woman to dress him in a red velvet mini-skirted dress and red lipstick, then chase her through the desert is enough to turn your stomach. HOLY SMOKE, unbelievably presented as a dramatic love story, makes you wonder what the writer/director Jane Campion smokes. However artistic, it should suffer a quick burnout at the box office.

Every conceivable offensive element has been mixed into this mess that should be rated NC-17. Homosexual behavior includes Ruths homosexual brother kissing his partner and Ruth kissing and caressing another woman on the dance floor of a pub. Ruth walks seductively around the deprogramming shack stark naked in a prolonged scene that evolves into graphic sex between her and P.J. Unconventional sex between Ruth and P.J., as well as P.J. and Ruths shameless sister-in-law adds to the films pornographic content. Along with the sexually explicit material are 25 obscenities and a few regular profanities. Eastern mystic religious rites of transcendental meditation, women falling under the spell of a spiritual guru, drinking and smoking mind-altering drugs are all presented in a positive light. Even Ruths mother follows her daughter back to India to embrace the Hindu culture. HOLY SMOKE is an insulting, pornographic heap of voodoo.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Miramax Pictures, 375 Greenwich, NY, NY 10013

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Moderate
Obscene Language: Many (25) times - F-word 8, s-word 10, other 7
Profanity: Many (10) times - Regular 1 (Good J), Exclamatory 9
Violence: Few times - Moderate (man accidentally bloodies his nose, woman hit by man, thrown in trunk of car)
Sexual Intercourse: Several times (unconventional sex twice without nudity; graphic with full frontal female nudity and rear male nudity; once with motions and sounds)
Nudity: Few times (prolonged full female frontal, breast nudity, rear male; Near Nudity: Many times (women in low-cut revealing necklines; man in tightfitting briefs)
Homosexual Conduct: Few times (gay men kiss, two women kiss and caress while dancing)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times (woman describes sexual fantasies and her sex life; woman gropes man under table; suggestive dancing, passionate kissing)
Drug Abuse: Several times (Indian rituals include mind-altering drugs, others drink, smoke dope and drive; drunkenness and drinking in pub)
Other: Nude woman urinates; illusion of Hindu deity beckons dying man; eastern religion practices of meditation, woman overcome by hypnotic stare of guru; frenetic drug-like state among religious recruits
Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Porn fans

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