Monday, January 10, 2022

CLIMAX (2020) Movie Review

Climax (2020) d. Ram Gopal Varma (India) (52 min)

Diane (adult film star Mia Malkova) and her boyfriend Diego (Renan Severo) are out cavorting in the desert, looking for good times and good places to snog. They venture into an area clearly marked Do Not Enter and “weird things” happen....

Well, not really. It’s mostly just them driving their Jeep around in the sand, with lots and lots and LOTS of shots of Ms. Malkova’s rear end in short shorts.

Seriously, I’m surprised the barely covered posterior in question doesn’t earn a screen credit of its own, considering how director Varma elects to shoot it from every possible angle whether running, reclining, or wading into a muddy pit, er, watery oasis. (The two had collaborated two years prior with the documentary effort, God, Sex, and Truth, in which Malkova discusses how she came to pornography as it represented “the safest and best place to explore sex in all its forms.” So, there you go.)

"This, on the other hand, may not be the safest and best place to explore anything..."

That said, there is barely any nudity, which seems puzzling considering the casting. There are, however, lots of extraneous jump-scare sound effects and whirling camerawork attempting to distract viewers from the fact that there is NOTHING HAPPENING. Some random bikers show up at one point and what could be... zombies, I suppose? Maybe?

"I... don't know what those are either."

Varma’s Bhoot (2003) was a derivative but enjoyable spin on the Hollywood ghost story, complete with musical stings galore. Here, in his rush to give Malkova and her fanny a showcase role, he apparently handed off scriptwriting duties to a five-year-old during recess and headed for the desert as soon as the school bell rang.

From a production standpoint, it all looks proficient and the running (and running and running) time barely qualifies as feature-length, but you can definitely find anything worth recommending here elsewhere with a higher entertainment quotient.


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