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Malika tells Helene a shocking story. She ran away from her family after her father sold her to an Algerian businessman. Homeless, living on the streets, she was turned into a sex slave by a vicious criminal organization. In the tense final act, Helene joins forces with Malika in an elaborate and daring scheme to doublecross her pimps and get both her freedom and her revenge.
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The wife, Helene, played by Catherine Frot, is appalled at her insensitive husband and, the next day goes to the hospital to see if the young woman is still alive. She finds her alive, but barely - in a coma and paralyzed. She's so moved that she takes a leave from work and spends all her time in the hospital, tending the recovering woman through a long and arduous recovery. Rachinda Brakni, cast as Noemie, the prostitute, is a fine actress and absolutely captivating with her huge dark eyes and mop of curly hair. She invokes our sympathy completely, especially after the wicked pimps come to the hospital and try to kidnap her.
In the meantime there is trouble in Helene's household which plays out like a satirical comedy, as her husband and son seem to embody the very worst attributes of men. Helene is devoted to Noemie, however, and Noemie eventually recovers completely and shares her incredible story through flashbacks. During the next half of the film, the women plot revenge and eventually the bad guys get caught, the husband and son get their comeuppance and the ending is happy and satisfying.
The film is a fast paced and well-scripted view of the role of women. There's lots of brutality and bloodshed as well as a satirical look at our society.Read more ›
I hardly feel sorry for the male reviewers here who complain about the stereotypes. We women are constantly stereotyped in the movies. Wouldn't it be novel if some men stood up for women once in a while?
As for reality, if you read the papers, you'd know that the events in this movie are not an anomaly. It's everyday life for many women--and little girls.
This is hardly the first movie about female empowerment, and you're never dis-engaged. The men are fools and idiots here, and all deserve their various moments and levels of comeuppance. But sit back and enjoy a well-plotted movie that will leave you breathless and admiring of the talent it took to create it. An expert cast, a superb director make this one of the most engaging films I've seen this year.
When a French male collides with the girl on the road, he ignores her danger - thus leading to the terrible beating. The wife of the driver (Helene) is haunted by the apathy of her husband (and her son) so she tracks down the endangered prostitute and nurses her back to health.
Now, it's a game of cat and mouse as the thugs try to recapture
the heroine, and she joins up with Helene and her mother to escape the brutal kidnappers. In the end, the criminals get their due...and the men in Helene's life are "left out in the cold."This is a chic flic so women everywhere will love this film. It has a very satisfying ending as the prostitute cleverly engineers her revenge. Notwithstanding the positive ending, the movie makes the viewer painfully aware of the heart-rending condition of girls trapped, misled, and kidnapped into sex slavery. Thereforethe film serves as an expose of the social nightmare of sexual slavery. It certainly motivated me to get involved to fund those humanitarian projects assisting women escape real slavery throughout the world. This is a great film with an important societal message. Don't lose the opportunity of seeing it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's violent but well done. This is the French version which is by far better than the American version. Read morePublished 6 months ago by The Purple Bee
I recommend this movie with no reservations. Excellent layering of story lines and characters.Published 17 months ago by Mickie Barg
THIS POOR EXCUSE FOR A MOVIE IS NOTHING THAT THE CREDITS ON THE JACKET SAY IT IS!
DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS TRASH!!!
This is a very great feminist film from the extraordinary french director Coline Serreau. Brilliantly constructed, acted and filmed. Merci, Coline!Published on October 21, 2011 by Janine Canan
Really good emotional drama intelligently woven with bits of levity. Really starts to click mid-way when we discover the main character's background.Published on March 27, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I'm still thinking about this movie years after seeing it. I think it's close to perfect. Not only a news report on what's going all around the world in the sex-trafficing mafia,... Read morePublished on November 2, 2010 by Judith Goldsmith
I ordered this movie, but instead I received another movie entitled Chaos, this one with Jason Statham, since I already had it in my collection, it was a no go, fortunately the... Read morePublished on March 3, 2010 by kitzler
I found this film to be very entertaining. It is about a woman - Malika, in France, forced into a life of prostitution. Read morePublished on August 1, 2008 by Paul A. Marsh