Sunday, 16 January 2011

Paul Verhoeven Film Restrospective - Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight was Paul Verhoeven's second film as director and his first to star Rutger Hauer in the actor's feature film debut, although they had previously teamed up for the comedy TV series Floris in 1969, and would collaborate on 4 more films before reaching world wide fame in Blade Runner.

Turkish Delight is a film I know very little about but have wanted to see for quite a while. I think it is a sex comedy/drama, but that is all I know...

Well, it certainly wasn't a comedy, but the Sex/Drama was pretty accurate. The film begins with a continuously naked Rutger Hauer masturbating over a photo of an ex girlfriend, and then having sex with loads of women while being a complete arsehole. The film then jumps back 2 years to when they met, and their lives together during that period. For the first hour of the film, they are constantly getting their kit off and having sex but then the film slowly gets more serious.

Without giving too much away, this film reminds me considerably of Betty Blue in that they are emotional dramas with lots of sex and nudity, but are also great films. I'm actually surprised at how good this film is. It seems like a low budget exploitation film when it begins, but by the end, it somehow sticks with you. This is a lot more like what I expected from Paul Verhoeven. Nothing subtle, just lots of sex and nudity, with Rutger being a right bastard.

With all of the sex in this film, it fully deserves it's 18 certificate but surprisingly, in Holland, the film only has a 12 certificate. It's amazing how different countries are offended by different things. Lots of sex in Europe is fine for family viewing, but in America, it's usually banned or given an NC-17 rating. In America, gore and violence is perfectly suitable for kids, but bare a breast on live TV and there's a national outcry.

Rarely seen in this country, in Holland Turkish Delight was the most successful movie at the time of it's release in 1977. Part of the film's success is probably down to the book it was based on, which is apparently read a lot in Dutch schools.

IMDB currently gives Turkish Delight 7.2, which I agree with. Unknown in this country, this great film will appeal to lovers of great drama that are not easily offended, and anyone who liked Betty Blue.

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