Camille (Carmen Paintoux) has come to New York with her DJ boyfriend
Julien (Mickael Trodoux) - and she's bored, because while he is out
working all day, she's got nothing to do. Then her friend Elisa (Natacha
Petrovich) suggests she should model. Elisa just happens to work for a
photographer, Tadeusz (Jac Avila), who is always looking for new models.
It doesn't take Camille long to find out Tadeusz is a bit of a pervert
with bondage- and SM-fantasies - but that doesn't turn her off one bit,
she actually feels challenged by that and encourages Tadeusz to go further
each session. There is just one line Camille would never cross: To have
sex with Tadeusz (and she knows he wants to), because she's in love with
Julien though is less than thrilled about his girlfriend's
newfound hobby, and mixing reality (she poses nude for a photographer)
with jealousy-induced fantasy, he thinks she's cheating on him. He begs
her to stop modeling for Tadeusz, but Camille won't listen, his begging
only makes her all the more stubborn.
Eventually, Camille stumbles upon
the story of Saint Eulalia, a 3rd century virgin martyr, and she becomes
totally engulfed in the story, and wants to reenact her most gruesome
pieces of torture, with her in the role of Eulalia of course. Julien
becomes increasingly worried as signs of torture begin to show on her
body, but she only mocks him (and later Tadeusz) with her menstrual blood.
finally bails out of the Eulalia photosessions, mainly for Julien's sake,
but that only makes things worse, both between her and Julien and between
Tadeusz, Elisa and Tadeusz' girlfriend Gabrielle (Veronica Paintoux).
After a few days, Camille returns to Tadeusz and asks him to continue
shooting her. This now leads to the final fallout between Camille and
Julien, and she soon moves out of his place and in with Elisa. Camille
insists that Elisa will be incorporated in future Eulalia shoots as a
co-star, and she also brings Tadeusz the nails she wants to be crucified
with in the finale.
Somehow, Julien learns about the crucifixion shoot,
and packs his roommate's (Erik Antoine) gun to rush over to Tadeusz' place
here to open the Spoiler Pop-up!
A nightmare of a movie - and that's exactly what Martyr
is supposed to be.
Basically, Martyr is a film about the
intentional (yet playful) descent of a woman into her private hell, and
it's told in a very unspectacular and (despite tons of nudity) almost
sleaze-free way. And it's exactly that subtle approach that makes the film
so disturbing (and fascinating): Here is a woman who likes pain, who likes
to be tortured and humiliated, who is not the victim but the engine of
what is done to her - and we, the audience, feel for this person, are made
to see her point ... and then are made to see her (self-imposed)
Now one has to understand that this film is not for
everybody because of its subject matter alone, but if you're only a little
bit interested in sadomasochistic relationships and the like, this one is
quite simply a must-see.
Oh, and if my review at all got you
interested, you may want to get the movie from here: http://movies.vermeerworks.com