Remedy (2013)

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By: Rob Perez (Two Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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As a fan of film festivals I looked forward to attending Remedy, which just so happened to be opening the Cinekink Film Festival in New York City last month. While Remedy is still securing funding for a much wider release, I can assure you that after having seen the film it would be criminal for this small, independent, character study film not to be playing in art house theaters across the country. When you go in to watch a film with a BDSM theme and the most intense, captivating experience you’ll discover is trying to figure out what is going on in the dom’s head, not what’s happening in front of you, you have a film that has accomplished its goal—don’t focus on the sex, focus on the mind. Remedy does that very, very well.

A Toast

Director Cheyenne Picardo tells her story about life as a professional dominatrix through the eyes of Remedy (Kira Davies), a young woman in New York City making ends meet but also curious about exploring what her own limits are. She finds that she’s capable of more than she thought, but is never quite comfortable in this world. That doesn’t deter her from running away from it. As one would expect, she finds a host of clients that range from a dental fetishist, to a rope enthusiast, to a smart allecky client who wants nothing more than to psychologically test her to see what her limits are (which she passes without realizing it).

Open up and say . . . uh, what do you want me to do to you?
Open up and say . . . uh, what do you want me to do to you?

Films about the New York BDSM scene are nothing new, but Remedy is a very unique look at how one stumbles into this world, going from a trainee dom to finding out (and not always liking) what she is actually able to handle. She bonds with the other girls on her shift, but her supervisor comes off as detached, cold, almost like another client she has to be able to handle like it or not. Her inexperience is evident when one of her clients, whom she develops a faux attraction to (faux because it’s only a comfort Remedy feels around him, not a true attraction) has to show her how to tie him up. Her first time on the job has her hysterically trying to fulfill her sub’s dental S&M fantasies which, as you can imagine, doesn’t go over well.

As Remedy becomes more comfortable on the job, she continues to meet a list of colorful clients, but also transitions to a switch (available as a dom or sub), a role she’s more comfortable in. This is where we see her vulnerabilities out in the open. The out of town businessman who introduces her to a really intense session he describes as forced rape gets Remedy very aroused and she discovers she enjoys humiliation.

The entire session is filmed in a very dimly lit room but is powerful nonetheless. He hangs her by the arms, spanks her, makes her dance topless, pinch his nipple, all after Remedy says she doesn’t do extreme humiliation to which he asks what does extreme humiliation mean to her? “Licking a dirty dog bowl,” she responds. It’s the film’s turning point, where Remedy says to her boss, “I definitely earned my stripes.” She comes away looking wounded by the experience, with her eyes looking as though she has the 10,000 mile stare hardened war veterans have after being in battle. She herself has been hardened and when an uncooperative sub comes along, she’s the one who takes all her anguish out on him, going too far in the fantasy.

Now don't forget, putting a gag over my mouth will be extra.
Now don’t forget, putting a gag over my mouth will be extra.

Beer Two

Remedy with all its strengths does end in the same manner many indie films tend to nowadays: the ambiguous ending. Remedy didn’t need to fill every gap or have every question answered, but the way in which the film concludes just seems unsatisfying after we invest close to two hours of watching her develop from an inexperienced sex worker to jaded mistress. A bit of ambiguity is sufficient . . . hell it should end with people asking what happens next, but it’s a pretty weak ending to an otherwise fine directorial debut.

How did I get these cuffs on?
How did I get these cuffs on?

Verdict

2beers

Despite its one major flaw, Remedy is a really brutally honest portrayal of these doms for hire, what they go through, what they say behind their clients’ backs, how they feel about them, the stories they tell, to how to prepare for a session. Picardo manages to make this part of the world interesting, even more interesting than the sessions, which were for the most part ad-libbed and captivating in their own right. It’s a really incredible achievement for a first time filmmaker. As a fan of indies, even if you’re thing isn’t BDSM, you won’t be able to stop watching. It’s a really captivating film.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: whenever Remedy is about to go to work and not sure what to expect from her latest client

Take a Drink: each time Remedy is humiliated on purpose or by accident on the job.

Do a Shot: when the doms gather around Mistress Nadine to hear her experience with a client who had the worse body odor, an abnormally sized testicle, and a spanking fetish who ends up in the hospital when Nadine accidentally spanks, not his buttocks but his “elephantitis-sized testicle.”

About Rob Perez

I come from Long Island, NY where I was born, raised and currently still live. I grew up with New York City literally right next door to me where I get to experience everything great about the greatest city in the world, anytime I want to. Look me up especially if your film tastes are in sync with mine. I enjoy comedies, sci-fi, action, spy thrillers, indie films, just about anything with a decent plot. I've been reviewing music and films for 15 years and I'm looking forward to sharing my thoughts with MovieBoozer.com.

3 comments

  1. Never thought I’d have much reason to give a BDSM flick a look, but this sounds pretty intriguing…

  2. Hey! I didn’t actually realize this was up — thanks to my not checking Twitter very carefully. But I just read it! Other than a small conflation of the businessman and date rape clients (they are two separate ones), I’m overjoyed with this review.

    As the director and inspiration for the film, I have to say the hardest part about ending a film that’s based on your life is figuring out how to end it when you’re still… uh… going. I totally recognize that the end of the film is going to be satisfying to some and frustrating to others — the needle goes back and forth for me almost every day.

    Thank you again for the honest and very flattering review, and I’m looking forward to screening the final version in Seattle and Portland in early August!

  3. That’s a really good point- I’m not sure how to solve that dilemma, either. Glad you liked the review, and I for one can’t wait until this is available for more people to see!

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