(Reflections on Roman Polanski’s Bitter Moon)
“Bitter Moon” is an interesting, different and provocative film that shows the spicy perverse paths of two lovers. We are definitely touched by the nature of the human being who are capable of both doing the great and horrible things at the same time.
A man (Oscar) tells his strange story to another man during a voyage, breaking his mind and expanding his limited horizon with this tale.
The film is super-dynamic in action and plot twists – especially in the emotional and sexual world of characters.
At first, we see a common plot – he falls in love, she falls in love, they are in love and experience great, sweet and turbulent moments. We see a totally submissive man at the feet of his goddess – a woman combining childish naivety and wickedness, a child-woman-hungry predator who has a
“clean discrete small slit and a carnivorous flower at the same time.”
Love – this is all what the soul wants.
But this part of the story is not that curious.
The interesting part comes next.
Polanski brilliantly shows the winding paths of passion between two people as they approach the apogee – the border, the critical point of relationships when everything feels as if the ice is cracking under your feet.
“Lovers have to stop when their passion is on top …
not to wait for the inevitable end.”
The couple inwardly feels the inevitable truth that love is like a chewing gum – first sweet, addictive to which you cannot be saturated and you have to chewy it, chew-chew-chew non-stop…but gradually it loses its sweetness … until it becomes a tasteless sticky substance, chewing gum without desire, chewed by inertia, by habit … And that is precisely the critical point! “Right here and right now” you have to do something!
And Mimi is doing this “something” – she pisses on the TV.
This has an incredible effect on Oscar’s mind – his brain is shaken. He takes the golden flow, experiences the strongest orgasm in his life and compares this event with baptism – a symbol of the metamorphosis inside him, unlocking new horizons, all subordinate to the adoration of his woman. And this is not cynicism, because
“nothing can be cynical in such love …
everything is intimate.”
This event in their sexual life, along with the instinctive knowledge and the anticipation of the downward direction in their relationships, puts everything on a different plane and pushes them into the field of experiments where everything is new, interesting, exciting. Both are released and act boldly, in a swift manner, without shame. I liked how open they are to every crazy thing – pissing on the TV, or the moment when the heroine starts to pour milk on her neck and chest, he immediately takes it and gets hard … when she ties him up and takes the whip – he throws into passion and experiences it.
Their behavior denies the taboos, and they are constantly cross their boundaries – on the one hand their inner ones, and on the other – the other people`s boundaries (the other people are the couple, who travels with them on the ship). And these challenges are shown and played quite well – it can grab our attention.
But no matter of the crazy things they do, or the breakthroughs go through – the film shows the breakdown of the relationship and the inability to overcome its inevitable death – frostbite, boredom, apathy. Same things all the time cannot blow our emotions permanently. Everything what was created always leads to an end. We are born for a new life, but we are always bound to its end. Realizing this truth would save an endless amount of pain in the world.
These two people find this conclusion with a different dose of drama. But if the man is more realistic and wants to end the relationship, put a point, the woman falls into horror, hysterically clings to it and does not want to end this love story.
The situation also shows another thing – I think, something which lies beyond sex and crazy attempts to try something. The couple in the movie just has nothing, but sex to keep them together. The motherhood theme is destroyed by Oscar – with the abortion, which he forced his beloved to do – he ends this option for good. The couple does not have common activities, any common business, or any kind of joint activity (obviously there are no opportunities outside sex). They have no supreme value, an idea, a model to which they can aspire and about which they will gravitate. They are just two lovers who fuck like animals, sprinkle with a bunch of hot spices their intimate life until they get exhausted and collapse tired and apathetic.
The man denies the boring common flow of a relationship, sharply turns his back on his beloved and furiously throws himself into adventure. Typically – a man, broken with a monogamous period, is lurking in all directions. The woman may have exactly the same urge and behavior, but in this case it she doesn`t, their inner states differ and contrast. And so she collapses – psychologically, emotionally and physically. She allows him to perform all sorts of insults, humiliations and disgusting attitudes towards her, in an effort to be together with him again. The film shows how a man can unlock a desire to obey a woman inside of him, and then a desire to be a sadist with the same woman.
However, the familiar “together” is no longer possible, and it is too painful to realize that nothing is the same, it is not what you love and what you need.
But if we decide that it is sad and unfortunate – we can also recall a truth as old as the world – that the female creature is good and compassionate, but it can also be evil, cruel and vengeful.
And so … sweet Mimi makes her husband an invalid. Literally. Gruesome and self-righteous. She achieves what she wanted so badly – he is already hers, fully and categorically. Maybe it’s a revenge for abortion that cripples her …
Oscar tolerates everything that is happening painfully, but without unnecessary drama, he somehow accepts things. The truth is, that he was cruel to Mimi just because she did not accept the reality and wanted something that no longer existed; wanted to fix the glass that was irreparably broken. In this case, the heroine is a truly fierce woman, ready for revenge, vengeance and fair end.
And she gets it, of course.
And from that moment on, their lives end, though not literally.
Their wedding symbolizes equilibrium – the circle closes for them. They are together again, though mutually maimed. Irrevocably. And so they are more precious to each other in this weird absolute dependence on each other.
The finale of the film is as surprising as it is expected. Or maybe – both. The most striking figure of the plot- the wife of the listener of this story – is enchanted by the provocative Mimi, so she breaks the cliché herself, thirsty for various pleasures, stands out forever. The wife stops he husband`s love affair with Mimi just to cheat on him herself with this same Mimi. The two ladies spent a passionate night together and when they were sleeping naked, Oscar shot Mimi and then killed himself.
And that’s what we expected – always the strongest passion ends up tragically. This is their core. And
“All relationships, no matter how harmonious, they contain a seed of farce or a tragedy.”
The tragic end of the couple acts reviving and purifying for the other couple – the listeners involved in this history. Because the Moon may be beautiful for some people, but for the others – bitter …
This text was created by Emma Tomova and has copyright. Please respect this 🙂
Photos: The Internet