What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie contains strong language, some violence, and a near-rape. Amber's verbal domination of Giuseppe on the boat is disturbing, but his physical domination of her on the island is completely unsuitable for younger children (and many adults).
What's the story?
SWEPT AWAY begins as ultra-rich, bored, and spiteful Amber Leighton (Madonna) grudgingly boards an insufficiently luxurious private boat from Greece to Italy. She is accompanied by her stone-faced husband (Bruce Greenwood), who seems vaguely amused by his wife's tantrums, and two other couples. Crew member Giuseppe (Adriano Giannini) who cannot adapt to his new role pampering rich Americans, who represent the evils of capitalism, which he feels robbed him of his previous job as a fisherman. Giuseppe becomes the target of Amber's derision; she the subject of his disgust and, after seeing her muscular beauty sunbathing, perverse attraction. Through a series of mishaps, Amber and Giuseppe wind up stranded on a deserted island where the tables are turned. Amber must rely on Giuseppe's fishing abilities to survive and he is far from a willing provider. In exchange for food, Amber must become his servant – washing his clothes, kissing his feet, responding to his slaps with "yes, Master" – a situation in which she finds that she actually loves him just as he loves her.
Is it any good?
Imagine the potential: gritty, innovative director Guy Ritchie remakes a provocative film about gender and class and the clash of diametrically opposed individuals when the tables are turned on their situation. Mix in sexual tension, a deserted island and two attractive co-stars and you could have a beach bonfire, lighting up the night with fire and sparks. In this case, there is no spark to start the fire and the only thing "swept away" is the one hour and thirty-three minutes spent watching. What a waste of potential.
Adriano Giannini, whose father (Giancarlo Giannini) played the same character of Giuseppe in the original 1974 film, glowers convincingly onscreen, but it is a generally wooden Madonna who adds the one spark to this otherwise soggy fare during her fantasy dance sequence.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the power politics in relationships. How is the power dynamic of domination and submission affected by situations beyond the characters' control? How does money influence the actions of the different characters?