New Orleans-based congressional candidate, Jake Simon (Cary Elwes), rests at the center of a political scandal, but no one suspects that his wife, Veronica (Mira Sorvino), is guilty of having an affair. Veronica’s subsequent attempts to free herself from the grip of her unstable lover, Victor Bernard (Christopher Backus), is the driving force behind writer/director John Stewart Muller’s INDISCRETION. Split between recollections shared by Veronica (Sorvino) in a talkshow interview and dramatic flashbacks on her various indiscretions, the film gestures toward a complex pathos. Nonetheless, INDISCRETION is well within the canon of weekday afternoon Lifetime movies.
Not one to balk at such quality casting, I hit play in the hopes Cary Elwes might, somehow, be restored to fuller glory. Elwes will always be well-loved by cine-geeks everywhere for his portrayal of Westley in THE PRINCESS BRIDE (among many others), but his performance as ultra-creeptacular step-dad in the Lindsay Lohan vehicle, GEORGIA RULE, marked the unravelling of an otherwise formidable twenty-five year career. Alas, Elwes’s performance in INDISCRETION only exists to prove that when this British actor plays American he sounds like the unwanted vocal love-child of Christian Slater and Ray Liotta. By contrast, Mira Sorvino pulls through with a moderately believable performance as a politician’s wife. Sorvino’s interview responses seem sincere and unscripted: when she is scripted, however, it is palpable. Since the rest of the cast appears to be at the mercy of scripted dialogue, there is not even a spark of genuine chemistry between any two actors.
Hoping to capitalize upon a Lifetime Movie Network audience exposed to FIFTY SHADES of gamma radiation, the film is peppered with attempts at spicy passion. Every sex scene, though, gets watered down by janky camerawork and improperly sequenced jump-cuts. Should you find yourself cruising women’s lifestyle channels for some soft-core zest with notes of tentacle hentai, INDISCRETION offers a glimpse at rare footage captured by a small batch of enterprising cephalopods mounted with Go-Pro cameras. With the utmost taste, these cephalopods even took their production into a warehouse containing only Mardi Gras floats. Once there, they staged an artful, yet vertigo-inducing, seduction sequence inter-cut with some quivering B-roll of a chubby Statue of Liberty sipping a brewski. Not a single shot in this film uses a tripod. Not one.
The film’s deficits in technical skill and acting credibility are balanced against a brand of unintentional humor only available to Lifetime original programming. My favorite moment? When the camera crew takes to the streets to soak up some New Orleans mise-en-scene, it becomes immediately clear they did not get signed film releases from unsuspecting tourists cast as impromptu extras. When Veronica (Sorvino) and Victor Bernard (Backus) walk into a local watering hole, an “extra” unexpectedly walks out; the camera awkwardly flips to the ceiling, lending the shot a distinct COPS-like feel. As the camera lingered on a lighting fixture, it elicited the most organic emotional reaction I have had to external stimuli in a week.
Looking for FATAL ATTRACTION meets HOUSE OF CARDS, but with an extended montage featuring Mira Sorvino chopping celery, Cary Elwes awkwardly cleaning a gun, and Christopher Backus making some really derivative mannequin art? Then INDISCRETION is your kind of “viewer discretion advised” content.
INDISCRETION is available to buy or rent on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/indiscretion/id1211871089