365 dni / 365 Days (2020)

dir. Barbara Białowąs, Tomasz Mandes

Fifty Shades of Grey really does have a lot to answer for. Had it never existed, perhaps we wouldn’t be saddled with the likes of 365 Days, a movie based around the idea that kidnapping, abuse and coercion aren’t immoral, abhorrent, or harmful – they’re sexy! Our protagonist Laura is bored with her boyfriend, so naturally when she’s abducted by obsessive crime lord, human trafficker and general all-round monster Massimo, the audience is ostensibly compelled to say, “Well, at least she’s not bored.” The sex scenes are downright uncomfortable; besides the inherent unease of watching a captive woman claiming to enjoy sex with her captor, the visuals of dead-eyed women jerking their heads around towards the bottom of the screen while Massimo grunts and gasps above them are cringeworthy at best, nauseating at worst. Of course there’s such a thing as a healthy sub-dom sexual relationship, but 365 Days has no idea what that looks like. It also doesn’t seem to know what basic character or plotting look like. It’s pretty much devoid of character – Laura’s boring boyfriend is a good match for her vacant personality, in all honesty – while the ‘story’, what little there is, abruptly ends in one of the most unclear depictions of tragedy ever committed to film. It’s less than two hours long, but the excruciating 365 Days certainly feels like it lasts a year.

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