katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Bonobo

Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 07:00 AM

KO Review of Bonobo

Review by CalgaryMovies.com X Katrina Olson-Mottahed

When an alluring ex-model turned english countryside housewife gets an email from an elite escort service offering her 42,000 British Pounds for her services, it seems too good to be true. Sarah (played by the stunning Freya Barry), a wife and mother, decides to tell her blue-collar hard-working husband Alec (Christopher Hatherall) about the email offer. At first the couple thinks it is absurd or some kind of practical joke, but as their financial difficulties amplify, they both start to consider how one night of Sarah’s time could actually help their family get ahead…or could it?

Director and writer of BONOBO, Mark Withers explains the film’s title ”is a metaphor in relation to the primates of the same name; females will trade sex for food to supply their families.” It is subtly refered to in the beginning of the film when Sarah is doing an online sociology course, we hear a womans voice discussing the primates behavioral patterns.

This film is beautifully shot in the couples serene rural home. There is a sense of peace and tranquility in their house hold and we often see Sarah deep in thought, as she sips tea. The calm environment really offsets the scandalous contemplation of the escort agencies offer. Sarah is so wholesome, raw, no make-up with these large expressive eyes and rounded seductive lips. Her face is so symmetrical and angelic the viewer is compelled to watch her. Her character is so controlled in her every move. Her softness is heavily contrasted by Alec’s scruffy facial hair, abrupt body language, and insecurity in his relationship in addition to his place in the world.

The characters emotional developement is very strong and the acting is of a very high quality. In a contemporary european film style, there are many close-ups on times of reflection or anticipation the characters are going through. It allows the audience to be trapped in the characters emotional state. On-screen, their faces capitalize on the prime real estate, not allowing anything else in the frame. The camera is still when the character is still, but juts and jolts when the character is dealing with emotional anguish induced by alcohol or physical pain. This style is seen in the filming of English Director Danny Boyle and Scottish director Jon S. Baird. It fit so well in BONOBO when Alec deals with the repercussions of his decisions.

BONOBO is very Indecent Proposal (1993) meets Closer (2004). It explores that fine line between intimacy and sex as well as the costs associated…

You can see BONOBO in its Canadian Premiere this Saturday September 27, 2014 6:45pm at Eau Claire Cinema and Sunday September 28, 2014 3:30pm at the Globe Cinema for the Calgary International Film Festival.

All photos courtesy of A Rockin’ Motion Pictures Film.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.