I must admit that this
was a title that I thought, "whoa" when it was sent for us to review. I wasn't
too sure what was in store and whether or not it was maybe a foray into soft
porn which of course we don't cover on this friendly site :)
Of course turning the
DVD over revealed that we were about to watch a documentary about swinging,
that is couples who have sex outside their relationships with each other, with
the partner's consent and knowledge. I wasn't sure how this would be handled
so in went the disc and away we go.
Let's get something out
of the way first, Sex with Strangers will titillate most viewers, there is
some nudity and quite frankly the subject matter is probably a passing fantasy
for some readers out there. The documentary I think didn't need a R18+ rating
though and a MA15+ would have sufficed.
We follow the lives of
three lots of swingers, two married couples and a young man and his two
girlfriends. All initially seem happy with "The Lifestyle" and the sexual
freedoms that it represents. Directors Joe and Harry Gantz take us on this
trip without any voice overs to detract from the tale that they are telling,
our real life characters tell the story themselves and it isn't what you would
expect from all of them. It seems that it takes a particular mindset to be
satisfied with swinging and this doco shows the psychological effects it can
have on an insecure or jealous person.
The roving camera
technique that this feature uses is great and there was no point that I was
left wondering what was going on despite there being no narration to lead me.
A great piece of storytelling and certainly a DVD that I could recommend for
both the style of doco and the unique subject that it covers. This won't be
for everyone and if you are not comfortable with alternate lifestyles then you
need to give this disc a very wide berth. The feature does show some sex
scenes although they are fairly well edited and whilst you know exactly what
is going on, you do not see it.
The disc is shown in
full frame 4:3 original ratio and the picture quality is generally good
considering the location that some of the footage is shot in. Throughout there
is not a great deal to complain about so far as quality issues with the video.
2.0 Dolby Digital is the
order for the day on this disc and with the nature of the flick, 5.1 is not
called for, nor is it needed. I think a surround mix would only serve to
confuse, especially with what is happening on screen.