The film DAMAGE is a strong and sober cautionary tale, an unflinching portrayal of the consequences of adultery. Stephen, a highly successful member of Parliament, begins and continues an adulterous relationship with his son’s fiancee. Stephen rendezvous with his lover, Anna, in various places, but always discreetly. However, near the end of their relationship as Anna’s marriage to Stephen’s son, Martyn, approaches, Martyn breaks in on his father and Anna in the midst of fornication, and in his horror, backs out the door and falls backward over a stair railing to his death. As a result, Stephen is ruined and loses everything: career, wife, family, lover, and, most painful of all, his son. He is last glimpsed exiled in some third-world dive, staring at an enlargement of Martyn, Anna and himself.
DAMAGE is the ultimate cautionary tale, a serious film with a painfully sober message despite a number of excesses in its depiction of sex. There is no happy ending remotely in sight, and none of the adultery is glamorized, or even shown to be particularly enjoyable. Jeremy Irons gives an outstanding performance in his role as Stephen, and Leslie Caron turns in a fine cameo in her portrayal as Anna’s street-wise mother. This film may serve as a jolt of reality for some who are toying with an extramarital affair. When God’s laws are violated, damage and destruction are inevitable.
(L, SSS, NN, B) 4 obscenities; intense depictions of sexual intercourse, with and without clothes; brief frontal female and rear male nudity; and, an unsparing portrayal of devastating consequences of adultery.