Monday, April 8, 2013

“The Sessions” - The movie: a brilliant portrayal of surrogate Sex

“The Sessions” - The movie:  a brilliant portrayal of surrogate Sex

I have always admired Helen hunt for her mercurial brilliance on screen. She may not be the typically voluptuous American idol with a curvaceous body and sultry looks, but then she belongs to that rare breed of actors whose deep blue eyes can reflect a thousand unspoken words in a single gaze. Her role in “Cast away”, which quintessentially is a Tom Hanks movie, was pivotal to the story line, and in those final frames of the film when her pent up emotions erupt and she runs desperately to hug Tom, besieging to take her with him: is a study in histrionics.

“The sessions” then, is a movie about sexual emancipation of an invalid; bedridden, dying, and yet passionately seeking vent to his sexual stirrings. His need to feel the warmth of a female body and the experience the catharsis that sexual intercourse offers, leads him to take the help of a priest to justify his inner urge and achieve inner fulfillment.  In a rare act of understanding, the young priest empathizes with the primal human need of an incapacitated man, and morally justifies the sexual proclivities in his struggling human frame. But to find somebody, who could guide him through this delicate terrain of physical intercourse, without the emotional bondage; and also to be able to assist a bedridden man, who cannot move a limb, to peaks of sexual ecstasy: is a task that is at once difficult and unsettling.  Helen hunt comes in as the surrogate sex worker to facilitate this experience.

The movie is all the about the sessions that Helen hunt has with Mark ‘o Brien, our protagonist, slowly helping him to understand the language of his body and explore the tremors of his sexual impulse. The ease with which Helen strips and maintains her poise on screen is brilliant. Never once during the entire film, do we feel repulsed by her nudity and language used.  It is only possible for a great actor - who has completely immersed herself in the role, understanding the emotional nuances of the character, deeply comfortable with one’s own body - to even attempt essaying this role. In one defining moment in the film, when Helen hunt achieves an orgasm along with Mark, in response to his newly awakened sexuality - is a seminal piece of measured acting, that lifts us to those rarified heights of drama, where every tinge of vulgarity is dissolved and all that remains is the simple act of two bodies achieving a natural consummation, that is genetically wired in.

Helen Deserves the Oscar that she received for the best supporting actor. Watch this movie for a sensitive treatment of a theme that can be often be misrepresented and plagiarized……….

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