Category: Passion

As I watch yet another sequel, my mind is bogged down to one thought only. What a sequel is for, basically? My guess is – it’s an attempt to take the story ahead where the character graduates and moves through different phases of life, like in Godfather, Batman etc; sometimes, it might use the same characters for a different storyline coz the audience loved the chemistry between the characters like Hangover, or it might just be a repetition of the original script because the director, for some reason, believes that the audience just wants to see the ditto, as in Hostel and Descent. But most of all, I have come to the conclusion, it’s an attempt to reap benefits of one successful blockbuster and carry it forward. There’s no guaranteed success for the same movie with a distinct and different name and it might not appeal to as many audience as adding “2” to a pre-existing movie title would.

As I watch Basic Instinct 2, I can vouch for the director’s desperation to create huge numbers and high success for a lame and lousy script. I might have missed this movie for sure had it not been for the “guilty pleasure” aura that surrounds basic instinct and for the sensuous and steamy chemistry between Catherine Trammel (Sharon Stone) and Detective Nick(Michael Douglas).

15 years later since the original movie, if for nothing else but for the audacity displayed in the original movie, Sharon Stone is still retained as the rich and controversial novelist Catherine Tramell who gets a high by living on the edge. The movie starts with Catherine and a sports star moving in a speeding car and doing “the thing”, we are here to watch. An uncontrollable car in an underwater crash leads to the death of the sports-star and voila! Our pretty heroine gets in trouble again.

In order to assess her mental state and gauge her threat levels for herself and others, Catherine is sent to criminal psychiatrist Dr. Michael Glass (David Morrissey) for a psychological evaluation. Michael, himself is going through a rough phase of life – a divorce underway, his wife having an affair with a reporter and the guilt of the murder committed by an accused whom he gave a clean chit. As with Basic Instinct 1, our pretty Catherine knows it all and uses it aptly to manipulate this guy. Michael presents a shady analysis good enough to let her go free, but Catherine can’t let Michael go. For some mysterious reason, she wants to make him her shrink and reveal her body and soul (literally!). As the vague and absurd sessions continue, since Sharon is already old enough not to do a steamy sequel performance, our Michael is turned-on enough to take on any and every girl in the movie and in the end, Catherine too. As Michael is drawn to her sexual and intriguing demeanor, a series of odd murders begin to take place.

As the movie goes on to create a sense of heightened drama and reveals the mystery – Boy do you feel any sense of awe or shock. Neither the script nor the climax manages to develop and maintain the expected sense of a passionate mystery and you are actually glad when the movie comes to an end. Back in 1992, when Basic Instinct was among the first ones to venture into this arena, to 2006, when there is nothing extra-ordinary about any such theme, the script here is too weak to stand on its own and definitely needs the crutches of a sequel tag for creating a buzz. The movie showcases sex-scenes and erotic dialogues without any heat and passion. Sharon appears too old to create that shady and dark image as the original movie and actually gives a low-graded image to the character. Michael too is not able to deliver much in terms of performance. It doesn’t come as a surprise at all that the movie got nominated for 7 Razzies in 2007 and won 4 of them – for worst actress (Sharon stone), worst picture, worst sequel and worst screenplay.

After creating a hullaballoo for her performance in the earlier movie to getting a “worst actress” razzie for this movie, Sharon really must be thinking about her basic instinct for picking up this movie.


Basic Instinct 1 (1992)

What distinguishes this movie from the other similar run-of-the-mill stuff is its distinct timing. Released in 1992, Basic Instinct was first of the kind to venture into the bold and daring world of exposure and exploitation. From suspense to drama to every minute speculation and of course passion, this movie has all that it promises. So if you are looking for more, you will be disappointed. What starts as an investigation of a brutal murder case runs superficially into an attempt to uncover a psychotic killer. Of course it is senseless and shallow with fake characters, but it delivers to its guarantee of sensual performances by top rated stars.

A former rock-n-roll star has been ruthlessly murdered during sex and found in a compromising position in his house at night. The murder weapon – ice-pick. The prime suspect – his girlfriend/sex-partner Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), a filthy-rich seductive writer, whose leisure time activity is to have sex. At the centre of the investigating team is Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas), who has a notorious record for having taken a few too many innocent lives. Nick is under constant behavioural and psychological evaluation by the police-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Beth Garner (Jeanne Tripplehorn) who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend. As the investigation proceeds, the murder traces its genesis to a novel written by Catherine, highlighting uncanny similarity to the murder case under scrutiny. This makes Catherine either the perfect suspect (using the novel as the alibi) or the perfect victim (she would not be dumb to write a book and then commit a crime on the same line of thought). Nick is convinced of Catherine’s criminal intentions. Catherine’s past connection with deaths and murderers convinces him all the more. Catherine’s current work on a novel about a detective who falls for a wrong woman and dies, her collection of old newspaper containing articles on Nick, her thorough knowledge of his personal and professional life, and obviously her sexual charm do nothing but cause Nick to fall for her desperately. A couple more murders and a series of sensuous and passionate scenes lead to a climax (pun intended) where all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit-in to reveal the mystery murderer.

The script has some of the most bold scenes and dialogues of all times. Catherine’s “crossing over” the legs became one of the most talked about scenes in the history of Hollywood. Her shady character comes alive with her impactful one-liners throughout the movie. “You gonna charge me for smoking”, “You know I don’t wear underwears”, “I only f***ed him” are a few to mention. To add to that are the dark characters of Roxy and Hazel Dobkins, Catherine’s girlfriends with criminal records of their own.

All in all, the movie successfully establishes a fast-pace passion thriller with not a single slag moment. Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone present a sizzling duo, with talked about forever scenes, not to forget Jeanne Tripplehorn as the good yet manipulating and deceptive doctor.

With the series of sexually explicit content that followed Basic Instinct, it would appear to be just another cheap thriller, but back then it was a trendsetter of its kind; no doubt it earned huge box office profits. My suggestion – Like it or hate it, but you got to watch this discussed, debated and ever remembered flick.

For Bollywood Lovers – Bollywood movie Chocolate (Starring: Anil Kapoor, Tanushree Dutta) makes a lame and disastrous attempt to copy the famous and “talked about” Sharone Stone shots.