A small town in coastal England is the setting for an erotically charged story of secrets and lies. Martin (American actor Alessandro Nivola, whose English accent is thoroughly convincing) has been in jail for eight years; his crime involved local hairdresser Helen (Rachel Weisz), and his frosty parole officer warns him to keep away from her. Martin is desperate to see the seductive Helen, who's dating DJ and radio personality named Bob (Ben Daniels); she's cool but stops short of ordering Martin to leave her alone. Flirtatious and disarmingly frank, Helen has yet another admirer in Honda (Luka Petrusic), a mute adolescent who lives in a run-down beach-front shack with his sultry older sister, singer Smokey (Macedonian actress Labina Mitevska). Honda records things, from his sister making love with her boyfriends to Helen arguing with Bob in his jeep, and meets Helen when she knocks him down with her bicycle. Smitten, Luka does some research and learns that Martin went to jail for murdering Helen's father, who caught Martin in bed with his then 14-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, Smokey tries vainly to seduce Martin, who can't get his mind off Helen's faithlessness: She promised to wait while he served his sentence. Honda, Helen, Smokey and Martin are trapped in a tangle of desire and deception that can only end badly, but Helen is the emotional knot's mysterious center until she makes a decisive move, none of the others stands a chance of getting free. This fairly straightforward thriller is tricked up with the CONVERSATION-like gimmick of Honda's aural peeping, but it's Slawomir Idziak's handsome cinematography, which makes much of the story look as though it was shot through neon- and rain-streaked glass, and the captivating score (anchored by the seductive songs of trip-hop group RARE) that make it genuinely haunting.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: R
- Review: A small town in coastal England is the setting for an erotically charged story of secrets and lies. Martin (American actor Alessandro Nivola, whose English accent is thoroughly convincing) has been in jail for eight years; his crime involved local hairdres… (more)