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In spite of its atrociously misleading packaging,Exoticais a beguiling mystery by enigmatic Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, in which people and their relationships are not what they seem. What at first appear to be disparate stories of a tormented tax auditor, a lonely pet-shop owner, and a sensitive stripper and her coworkers gradually merge to reveal a larger, interconnected portrait. The sequences involving Mia Kirshner's schoolgirl stripper are particularly engrossing because of her character's intelligence and the scenes' deeper subtext. Indeed,Exoticais less about stripping than about fragile human relationships, and it is not until the truly revelatory final scene that we are able to fully absorb the film's deeper meaning.--Bryan Reesman
"You Have To Ask Yourself What Brought The Person To This Point?" This is an undiscovered gem of a film with an incredibly inventive and powerful script that is sure to suprise and please. 'Exotica', a "Gentleman's Club", is the focal point of a world in search of meaning. Men come not just to watch beautiful women sensually dance in various stages of undress. They come to forget, however briefly, the pain and suffering they have experienced in the world outside.
Christina (Mia Kirshner) and Eric (Elias Koteas) work at the club, Christina as a dancer, Eric as the DJ. As the customers watch the enchanting Christina perform on-stage and privately, Eric watches the customers watch her. As you might have guessed, while moods and emotions are generally muted and controlled within the confines of Exotica they are forever on the verge of breaking through the illusory nature created and sustained by alcohol and sexual stimulation. There are untold stories to be brought into the light of day and only when the truth is known will the many tangled relationships and reasons for being there finally make sense.
Director Atom Egoyan has conjoured up a place outside of time and space, a purgatorial oasis where all regrets, memories and hopes converge into the incessant drone of the music and the tantalizing movements of the dancers. Truly a stunning vision that will stay with the viewer for quite sometime. Definitely not a film for everyone, 'Exotica' deals with adult situations and contains numerous scenes of nudity and some mild homosexuality. However this thoughtful, probing tale ultimately transcends most of the dark, depressing elements and offers a ray of hope and forgiveness. If you're the adventureous type who is looking for something different 'Exotica' is definitely the film for you.
Mia Kirshner and Elias Koteas (two of my favorite actresses/actors) are fantastic. Also wonderful performances by Bruce Greenwood, Don McKellar, Arsinee Khanjian and a young Sarah Polley.
Seductive, Mysterious, Revealing Having seen "Exotica" several times now, I can say that knowing the ending does not detract from the seductive power of the film. Very watchable, a multi-layered plot and aural feast - I want to work at the Exotica! If you enjoyed the movie "The Usual Suspects" for its left-field conclusion, this film should appeal to your puzzle solving nature, although the two movies could not be less alike in their sensitivity, style, and humanity. I thought of giving it 4 Stars because it didn't quite connect effortlessly, but any film as surprising, original, and provocative as this deserves a 5. For a literate review, read the "Amazon.com review", not the one above it, which is a mish-mash.A masterpiece Ignore the comments of the person who is listed here as Brad13, unfortunately, it seems this complex film is way out of his league. Exotica is a study on the nature and affects on loss, and whilst it may take a couple of viewings to soak it all in , that is more to the power that it contains. Atom Egoyan is a genius, this is probably his finest film, and anyone with a capacity for empathy for there fellow man , and understanding of pain in loss in all its outcomes , should find something to cherish and reflect upon.