Another week of the film league, this time dedicated to a Femme Fatale of the cinema. A strong, intelligent, seductive, beautiful, incredibly sexy woman. I remembered a character with all those characteristics: the Catherine Tramell from Basic Instinct.
A famous former rock singer is killed in his bed while having sex. The weapon used is an ice pick and the first suspect is his girlfriend, a famous thriller and intrigue writer: Catherine Tramell. The detective in charge of solving the murder and finding the criminal is Nick Curran, a cop who fights his own demons, drug and alcohol addiction. Curran suspects that the writer is the killer, but he will fall in love with the woman. She's very beautiful and seductive. The sexual tension will explode in both of them. The detective becomes romantically entangled with the prime suspect. Is she really the killer?
A lot has been written about the movie Basic Instinct. There are countless articles and film reviews about this daring work of the seventh art, which caused a sensation in cinemas in 1992. 28 years have passed since its release!
Basic Instinct would not be the same without Sharon Stone. When the planets align to create a piece of impact, they simply do it. There's no exact science to ensure success, even if Hollywood executives think otherwise.
Sharon Stone was 34 years old when she starred in Basic Instinct, she had spent a long time trying to make her mark on the film industry. After small jobs in a few films, including one by Wes Craven, it was in 1990, with her involvement in Total Recall (directed by Verhoeven) that she made her mark. Some larger productions came along and he even posed for Playboy magazine. But it was with Basic Instinct that he achieved the desired worldwide success.
Catherine Tramell's character would become one of the best femme fatales in cinema. After this film, Sharon Stone had many offers for big productions.
The film was a huge success in 1992. Everybody wanted to see this movie that was causing a big stir, because of its daring sex scenes.
The most famous leg crossing in the history of cinema happens in this film. The mythical scene of the interrogation, in which a Catherine Tramell overflowing with beauty and intelligence, crosses her legs, while the detectives put on their best stupid face, seeing that she has no underwear. All the men in the cinema had the same stupid face as the detectives in the film.
There are many rumors about how this scene was made, one of them says that the director tricked Stone, convincing her not to wear underwear, since the reflectors didn't show anything. Supposedly the actress got angry. I haven't researched this subject, I can't say for sure if it's true or just a rumour created to make the film more attractive.
What I do remember is the controversy because Sharon Stone's character is bisexual. In 1992, several lesbian associations publicly criticized the film because the villain was a gay woman. I thought the whole thing was silly.
The sex scenes between Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas were pretty daring for the time. No wonder there was some spark between the actors. Would they have an affair? Only they know. But a few years ago, at an awards ceremony, where Michael Douglas was to be given a special tribute award, Sharon Stone was the one who introduced him. While she was giving the opening speech, Douglas' current wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, gave him a not-so-pleasant look. Douglas was a Casanova, addicted to sex, but with the marriage agreement with Zeta Jones, he stopped having affairs, the monetary price to pay in case of infidelity is very high.
Verhoeven is a European director and he knew very well what he wanted with this project: to provoke, to cause controversy. The script by writer Joe Eszterhas was ideal to be made into a film by the Dutch director. Eszterhas had already written the script of several films with remarkable success, he collaborated with Flashdance and wrote the script of the film Music Box. The amount he was paid for the script of Basic Instinct was the highest ever, some say the figure reached three million dollars. After the success of Basic Instinct, the writer and director would work together on Showgirls, trying to provoke and repeat the success, but the film was a total failure.
The film has another good actress in its cast, also femme fatale, the beautiful Jeanne Tripplehorn, I fell in love with this woman, I hoped that she also had a great career full of successes, then would work in the films The Firm and Waterworld, but after the film of Constner, the actress's career went down, acting in many films, but none of remarkable success.
With the success of Basic Instinct, Hollywood kept trying to repeat the formula with other highly erotic thrillers. One of the most memorable was 1995's Jade, also written by Joe Eszterhas, but directed by William Friedkin and starring Linda Fiorentino as the Femme Fatale and actor David Caruso.
In 2006 Hollywood made a sequel to Basic Instinct, with the participation of Sharon Stone, repeating her character, but times had changed, besides the fact that the story was lousy, a bad script, actors doing a bad job and a horrible direction. The sequel was a mess, getting bad reviews from everybody. That film was meaningless.
For me this film is a classic, I recommend seeing it from time to time. It's a great film that I enjoyed a lot at the time, I saw it five times in the cinema and I currently have it in my old DVD collection.