9 1/2 Weeks

"How did you know I would respond to you the way I have." Elizabeth

"How did you know I would respond to you the way I have." Elizabeth

☆ Classic 

9 1/2 Weeks (1986) is an erotic tale that explores human sexual desires and its effect on its participants.

Directed by Adrien Lyne from Elizabeth McNeill's novel 9 1/2 Weeks.

Starring Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Margaret Whitton.

The three major components to why this film works is Adrien's subtle and stylish direction, Mickey and Kim chemistry and its use of visual and musical cues. Lyne does not use sex as the story as Nagisa Oshima did in Ai No Korida - In The Realm of The Sense (1976). Instead, Adrien uses sex to explore the ramifications of unbridled addiction and voyeurism. Lyne, let's Kim slowly fall apart emotionally, while allowing Mickey to gain more control over Basinger. As an audience member I felt I was taking a journey with the cast. Basinger and Rourke are magnetic in this film. Each draws you into their side of the story. It helped me to have empathy for both character's side of their behavior. Adrien's use of color and sound cues the audience and propels the narrative forward. The colors in the film get darker and the music grows more ominous as the film progresses. The director and cast successfully walked a fine line with the story and performances and pulled off what few films in the erotic genre have ever achieved.

Mickey's strength as an actor is his ability to open up and allow the audience to see deep into his soul. Rourke gets his audience to have empathy with his dark characters and their bad intentions and behavior's. Kim is really a joy to watch in this film. I'm glad Lyne saw Kim's intelligence and let her color her character with wit and charm.

In the scene below watch how Mickey seduces Kim with his sense of humor. Rourke manages to turn a self indulgent, narcissistic prick into a seductive, funny and fallible human being. Watch how Kim becomes the straight man to Mickey's comedic sidekick. Each let's the other take over the side at key moments. Rarely do I see actor's work with such precision and timing. Kim outdoes Mickey by opening her soul to Rourke and the audience when she looks first surprise then happy that Mickey finds her "So fucking beautiful". It looks like it's the first time in Basinger's life where she actually believes that someone finds her beautiful.

Trivia - Lyne shot the movie sequentially to highlight Kim's gradual emotional breakdown and keep her unbalanced throughout production.

Film Transcript