What You Need To Know:
(H, L, V, SS, NNN, A, AB, Ho, M) Humanistic worldview which seeks to explain behavior in terms of environment; 7 obscenities & 2 profanities; 2 violent beatings; sexually explicit & obscene dancing in strip club; full female nudity; alcohol use; Christianity ridiculed; 2 homosexual encounters depicted; and, manipulation of others to fulfill one's own agenda.
EXOTICA is a confusing and somewhat boring drama produced by Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan. Set in Toronto, it tells the story of several people whose lives are intertwined around a strip club called Exotica. Canadian tax auditor Francis is obsessed with dancer Christina, a young girl who dresses up in a blue parochial school uniform for her dance routine, which includes a mock prayer. Francis is obsessed with Christina because she reminds him of his late daughter. He has never confronted the reality of his daughter’s death. Christina’s jealous ex-boyfriend is the club’s DJ, who is also responsible for the pregnancy of the club’s owner, who inherited Exotica from her mother.
Nudity and explicitly sexual dancing abound but soon become rather monotonous. This movie is not about sex but about voyeurism, obsession and denial. Tedious dialogue features characters spouting philosophical small talk without ever really getting to the point. EXOTICA suggests that individuals are not responsible for their actions, that sinful behavior is not sinful but merely a pattern of faulty communication and psychological denial, possibly the result of bad parenting. EXOTICA could have been a thought-provoking psychological thriller, but the director got carried away with visual tricks and shocking nudity and forgot about character development and plot.