Belgrade International Film Festival
"Original Sin"
(Michael Cristofer, director)
Review by Radmila Djurica

Director Michael Christofer is famous for his screenplays and for his Broadway play "The Shadow Box," which won him a Pulitzer Prize. Original Sin is based on a famous adventure novel, which was a challenge to turn into a steamy, dark thriller.

The story takes place in Cuba, at the time of its colonization by America, when people were running from America to Cuba, and vice versa.

The film starts with the words: "This is not a love story, this is the story about love." And what is behind that? It is a story about love and obsession. It is a story about how a beautiful and enigmatic woman can be dangerous. Isn't that what has happened to all our heroes, to all our heroes from the great stories about love? And it is not a surprise that the great love story, in real life, becomes a story about obsession and about sex. And letís keep in mind that everything in Original Sin is happening in the 19th Century.

The main character is Antonio Vargas [Antonio Banderas], a rich salesman who decides to marry an American woman. But afterwards, he finds out that his wife [Angelina Jolie] is not what he thinks. The shiny outside of seductive and mysterious beauty hides a dark inside of abuse and pathological love. Their relationship is, of course, highly sexual, exploring the passionate side of sexual politics.

Yet, even hot sex scenes between Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas in an exotic environment cannot hide the shallow melodrama that is so conveniently common in stories like this. This is definitely a good night-time story, a story to breathe and relax with.



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