Femme Fatigue. Corporate WWW warfare. Illogical, implausible, yet irresistible. The problem was that it was not edgy nor campy enough. Rachel McAdams was the grown-up version of Mean Girls‘ Regina: Christine. Unfortunately, her meanness didn’t really come through for me. McAdams was too timid to be at par with sexy sociopath, Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), or vicious enough to be Patty Hewes(Glenn Close). Their behaviours would be crucial to Christine’s character. Just being bit**y is not enough to climb the corporate ladder, honey! Noomi Rapace‘s Isabelle was too confusing, I would rather prefer her to be a stone-cold-calculated-pretend-to-be-innocent-bit** than a sometime geeky, sometime brilliant antagonist.
Christine leads the Berlin branch of an international advertising agency, and Isabelle is her prodigy. Christine is aggressive, and Isabelle reserved and submissive. Christine’s patronization is received as praise for Isabelle. Isabelle thinks they work as a team, as long as the team scores, she doesn’t need to be too concerned with who takes the credits. Dirk(Paul Anderson), an executive of the agency becomes the one they both fu**.
Christine likes surprises, and kinky at heart, she likes her lovers in disguise while in her game of lust. With someone like Christine, successful, blond, and pretty, she bounds to have a lot of enemies. The abrupt ending of her life is nothing but the result of being in a cut-throat business. Ironically, quoting her own motto, “It’s just business”.
I get the story, it exposed the less spoken competitions among woman executives that they were just as fierce as men’s. While the latter is usually more overt, the former more covert, i.e., back-stabbing, gossips, and passive-aggressive tactics. Unfortunately, those were not explored here, instead sexuality and coercions were the weapons used here. It might look good on screen with all those titillating F2F kisses, it certainty lessened the believability of the plot. I have yet to hear a real life case of sexual harassment between a woman executive and her woman staff.
The social comment that tied nicely with the background story was the use of smartphone, and the voyeuristic power that came along. Career could be damaged, murder cases could be solved, money could be made, fame could be achieved instantly…the new era of instant visual in dire contrast of the traditional form of technical arts like ballet. With youtube, everyone is a producer/director, and the number of viewing is the new money!
BTW a technical note: even the best smartphone cannot take good videos in dim light without some sort of powerful flashlight! Digital zoom usually produces grainy videos, and without steady hands, the videos will definitely come out shaky! So whether new-school or old-school, those are the basic, aren’t they? So my point is that the flashback re-cap was impossible.
If I have to pick, I much prefer last year’s Side Effects. At least the relationship seemed to be consensual, instead of forced and made-believe.
SKIP…despite I am a fan of our Canadian McAdams, I hate “swiss-cheese” movie: too many holes.