Note: This review first appeared on the now defunct WHIP! magazine.
“Spanking heals sometimes”
Released in 2014, My Mistress is Director Stephen Lance’s sweaty Australian gothic in which two people collide and inhabit each other’s lives with dark and sexy consequences. Starring Emmanuelle Beart as the mysterious Maggie and Harrison Gilbertson as the misguided teenager Charlie, My Mistress is a rapid whip crack of a movie.
The opening encounters of the film hint at its S&M to come – a troubled kid jumping on the hood of a car, a father found hanging in a garage, the slashing of blades against plants. These sounds suggest there are more twists, more turns, and deeper involvement in instruments and materials of pain.
Something that’s quite prevalent in the film is feeling of death floating around in the background. Death of life, of dreams, of family, of happiness. Yet within this death is life, the ups and downs, the energy, the exploration, the trip, the journey, the adventure, and ultimately a form of rebirth.
And this is where the film’s soul can be found.
Maggie and Charlie are two people both scolded and burned by life, both having suffered the loss of someone they love. It’s a great examination of how people of similar spirits and temperaments are drawn together even if they have different ages and opposing backgrounds.
In one sense anyone can become friends or lovers, sometimes it’s just up to life to put them together.
Sparsely populated with characters, My Mistress focuses on the main story and its subjects. Contained, controlled, lubed and shined, it’s a tight fitting catsuit of a script and a slave unto its own mistress. It’s also very playful and sexy, yet it never falls into slapstick or innuendo. My Mistress isn’t camp, it’s sympathetically tough.
And sometimes that’s a whole lot better.
Having encountered Maggie while wandering the neighbourhood, Charlie’s introduction to the work of the Mistress occurs while he’s snooping around her large mansion house. After wandering quietly through the building, he finds her wearing a black wig and covered head to toe in latex while whipping a bound and ball-gagged slave in her boudoir.
That’s one hell of an introduction! And this introduction leads to further curious and decadent endeavours. Without giving away the aces, the coffin and slave dog scene is wonderful, as is Emmanuelle Beart’s tweed jacket/head to toe black latex outfit.
Another thing that stands out about the film is the tasty cinematography – the film has been lit like a warm fiesta, which creates romantic undertones surrounding the characters. This coincides well with the film’s feeling of companionship – which is where S&M can be at its most beautiful. That give and take, take and give, that tough and tender brutality between two lovers sharing something beyond the powers of their vocabulation.
Maggie is fun – she’s rock n’ roll – a blonde badass in latex or denim, but one with a heart and subtle sensitivity. Charlie is like a curious stray cat, looking for its new found owner – a voyeuristic peeping tom, fascinated, beguiled, captivated and ultimately captured. He is a young man looking for order in his life.
Maggie: “Spanking heals sometimes”
Maggie: “Is that what you want?”
Maggie: “Sounds like it”
These two wild characters allow My Mistress the pleasure of feeling like a road movie featuring two companions riding shotgun in each other’s lives.
Overall it’s a cool little film to relax into a leather sofa with ahead of an evening of wicked temptation. As a film of a certain niche, I think it sits admirably amongst fetish/S&M classics such as Maitresse, Secretary and Preaching to the Perverted, along with Aussie favourites such as Mad Max and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
My Mistress is a movie that makes you glad you love life, latex, S&M and all things kinky and wicked. I wanted to spend more time with these characters. I wanted more adventures.
Leaving the audience thrilled while wanting a little more is a perfect end to an evening’s indulgence.
For further information, please trot along in your heels and latex to mymistressmovie.com.