Going into this film, the only thing that I was really worried about was that it might be boring. It's not that I particularly have anything against pornography; but what's taboo now and what was taboo over three decades ago are different things, and besides that; you can only watch people having sex for so long before it begins to get dull. However, I was wrong; the film isn't boring, and while the focus is usually on sex; there actually is a story, and it actually is quite interesting! The film is unlikely to appeal to people that are interested in the more perverted side of sex as the film doesn't feature anything above lesbian sex, but the tender way that the story is presented as well as the French style give it a very erotic feel throughout. The plot, as you might expect, focuses on the character 'Emmanuelle', a young woman that lives with her husband; an older man, in Bangkok. They share a sort of teacher-pupil relationship, and they're also very liberal where adultery is concerned, as neither one cares too much about the other's antics with other people. This film inspired a barrage of slightly less tasteful sequels, as well as a range of Italian films, many of which were directed by sleaze God Joe D'Amato. I don't think the filmmakers intended Emmanuelle to be associated so closely with sleaze, and actually at times; it doesn't really feel like a porn film; more of a drama with sex. I've got no idea how many taboos this film broke upon it's release over three decades ago, but the fact that it doesn't really break many today does it a favour where class is concerned as the film never feels too dirty, and this bodes well with the high class of the lead characters and setting. Sylvia Kristel takes the lead role, and is believable as a sexually naive young woman. She is joined by a number of eye-pleasing actresses, including Christine Boisson and Marika Green, and all get to take their clothes off in several scenes. The settings in which it all takes place are pleasing also, and the film is of a much higher class than a lot of nowadays porn. I'm surprised that Emmanuelle still has a notorious reputation, as it's only soft-core at best; but it's definitely worth seeing, if only to see how much things have changed!
The wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok, Emmanuelle embarks on a voyage of sexual discovery.
February 12, 2021