SEX DOLL (2016)

Genre: Drama
Director: Sylvie Verheyde
Cast: Hafsia Herzi, Ash Stymest, Karole Rocher, Paul Hamy, Ira Max
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes)
Released By: Shaw 
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 4 May 2017

Synopsis: A high-priced call girl navigates the shadowy world of London's sex trade underground in this provocative, erotic thriller. Virginie (César Award winner Hafsia Herzi) goes about her work as a prostitute with a cool detachment, trading sex with wealthy businessmen for money, but never getting emotionally involved. That all changes when she meets Rupert (Ash Stymest), an enigmatic stranger with unclear intentions. Risking everything, Virginie plunges into a dangerous affair that tears her between a ruthless madame who forbids romantic attachments and a dark, sexy man who could be her savior or her downfall.

Movie Review:

The crowd from the now defunct Yangtze will probably have a field day checking out this title hoping to get a glimpse of some hot nudity and sexual tension. Coming out from the romantic city of lights, unfortunately, the title is the only thing that is titillating in this otherwise tepid erotic art-house drama.

French indie director Sylvie Verheyde wrote and directs this drama about a high-class call girl Virginie (HafsiaHerzi) who at the beck and call of her tough madam (Karole Rocher) worked in the flesh trade. Lured purely by hard cold cash, she services rich older men with the enthusiasm of a dead fish. Until one day, she met a mysterious tattooed man, Rupert (played by newcomer Ash Stymest) in a nightclub that Virginie starts to question her identity as a call girl.

Sex Doll attempts to be meaningful, provocative and mysterious but failed at every turn and corner. Verheyde never succeed to establish Virginie as a character worth telling or the topic on hand as an interesting academic study. Furthermore, it doesn’t shed any new light on the sex industry which is a huge pity.

Most absurd of all the character of Rupert is sort of a superhero, always miraculously appearing to give Virginie a lift home and even appearing at a right time to get her partner and her out of an orgy that went horribly wrong. Did I mentioned Rupert happened to be in the business of rescuing girls from the sex trade world? And we are pretty sure you know Virginie and Rupert will soon be an item struggling to truly connect with each other.

There’s so little story development and the excruciating slow pacing doesn’t help to capture your attention either. And to address those who came for sleazy shots and humping action, be prepare to be disappointed as there is nothing more than off-camera sex, moaning sound and close-ups of Virginie’s ultra-bored face in the series of sex scenes.

By now, you should know that Sex Doll is not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, you should be making yourself a pot of hot tea and read a good book than indulging in this yawn fest disgusing itself as an arthouse title for intelluctuals. It’s definitely not for the former nor the Yangtze crowd. We await with bated breath for a decent title that touches upon the infamous Japanese sex dolls. Ahem for film studies and academic sake.    

Movie Rating:

(Sex Doll is empty and boring)

Review by Linus Tee


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