When I saw the film "Bitter Moon", I did not think the film would be what it was.
Throughout the film, you follow a story told by a paraplegic passenger on a cruise ship who shares his life and his past with another young married man. The handicapped gentlemen reveals to this young man why the decisions and choices that he has made in the past has cost him the ability to walk and why he is in a relationship with a woman younger than himself. As you follow the story, which starts off rather romantically, it eventually becomes more complicated as the relationship between him and his partner, in the story, become complicated in the way that they treat each other.
In the beginning of their relationship, he is a confident, good looking and talented man who wants to make the most of his life and of his youth. When he meets a young woman who is beautiful, foreign and intelligent, the relationship begins to change over time after they begin to engage in sexual games and habits that eventually warp their perceptions on each other and on themselves. They originally intended to make their sexual relationship more fun and so they encourage each other to satisfy each other in way's, that at first, seem like fun, but when the games start to become more deadly, the relationship starts to strain.
After being together a while, he begins to lose interest in her and she begins to feel like an after thought. As time goes by, his interest turns to other women and she begins to feel unimportant to him and so she does her best to keep his interest by doing things that just push him further away. This desperation on her behalf, causes his arrogance, because she will literally do anything for him, to take over him and he starts to become mentally and physically abusive towards her. The relationship get's worse and worse, until eventually. his reckless behavior and his attitude which is to take from life and not give anything back, causes him to drunkenly step in front of a vehicle. After breaking his leg, the woman he has treated appallingly, takes it upon herself to look after him, turning the tables, and now, she is in control of the relationship, whereas before, he was in control.
The injury leaves him vulnerable and the woman decides to remind him of how badly he has treated her. She does everything he did to her, which included, inviting random people back to their apartment, treating him with little respect and deliberately showing him that she could get any man she wanted, all in an attempt to get revenge and to hurt him the way he hurt her.
After the battle in the relationship had subsided and they realized that they needed each other, they get married and take a vacation on a cruise ship where he manages to meet a man who is in a relationship where he is bored, finding life predictable and is hiding with his wife behind a facade of snobbery and innocence when actually, he is as sexually frustrated and as open minded, as the man telling the story.
The end of the story left me thinking that the two relationships are so different and yet, so similar. They have two different approaches with dealing with their relationship and how they convey it to others day to day, however, behind closed doors, they are experimental, open minded and want to enjoy themselves as best they can. Just when the man hearing the story begins to feel his prudish wife is never going to satisfy his hidden sexual frustration, he finds out that his wife is suffering the exact same mental situation, thinking that he would never satisfy her sexual frustration.
Society has caused human beings to hide their animal instincts, which are in all of us, but we do this to make each other more comfortable in social interactions. Hiding our inner interests causes us to get creative and this film shows exactly that, in a relationship that appeared, on the face of it, to be perfect!
A really clever film that takes an issue that probably effects many marriages and relationships. I would definitely recommend watching it if you're open minded and don't mind a story that does not "sugar coat" anything when it comes to sexual fetishes.