Netflix finally delivered I Dreamt Under Water, directed by Hormoz. The film is a drastically under rated bisexually erotic surrealistic dramatic 90′s period piece starring the very dreamy Hubert Benhamdine as the aspiring musician and party kid Antonin, he watches his friend/band mate die of a heroin overdose. The unfortunate event is the catalyst for Antonin’s sexy dive into prostitution and casual sexual encounters with gross older men. Antonin continues searching and experimenting with possible lovers until he meets Juliette played by the beautiful and talented Caroline Ducey The fabulous Christine Boisson also stars in the film as Antonin’s mom struggling with identity issues; identity issues are the main theme of the movie.
Oddly, the rating system on Netflix has given I Dreamt Under Water 2 1/2 stars, which drastically undermines the film. One viewer says: “This is pornographic. There are body parts shown that I never thought I’d see shown that graphically in a “mainstream” movie. I don’t mind sex. But there is good taste. And this movie crosses all boundaries of good taste. It wasn’t just pushing the boundaries – it was way over the line. Alex (Franck Victor) and Antonin (Hubert Benhamdine) are in a band together. From what I heard they are quite good. Antonin is in love with Alex but hasn’t had the nerve to share his love. They also do drugs together. A lot of drugs. Alex dies in Antonin’s arms form a heroin overdose. Whoever the cinematographer was he/she is superb. They used lighting and flashing lights and colored lenses to create a masterpiece of art (too bad most of it belonged in “Hustler” magazine.)The movie did stop just short of showing penetration but it was so extreme up until that part – I struggled with it a lot. Yes, it was a good story. It probably needed to be told. Hormoz (the director) probably is dealing with some demons in his life and this was probably very cathartic. But it is so dark and troubled. 2 1/2 stars.”
I do not understand why as grown adults we have problems with pornography in cinema, it can be a hot addition to a film and in this case the use totally enhances the story line. Seeing Hubert Benhamdine naked is a treat, his body isn’t overly exercised which makes his nudity and sex worker character seem more genuine. There is no reason to claim that the sex scenes undermine, in the scene after his unrequited lovers death audiences watch him get fucked by a group of older men. At first the scene seemed cliche, he is in the alley ways of Paris getting fucked by a group of men and the men come in droves to use him. But the scene wasn’t cliche because of the emotional impact the sex has on the angel-eyed Antonin. After his friend and unrequited love dies, Hubert goes straight to sex to try and fill the pain, from there he goes to sex work as a means to escape the dread he feels about life. This move toward sex work is seen by the larger Netflix as demonic and dark, however, Antonin’s choice to go into sex work doesn’t seem flawed as many viewers say, instead I see it as the characters attempt to find love.
The films frank depiction of fluid bisexuality is its strongest point. It is refreshing to see characters that are able to live their lives without feeling tied to gender specific lust. Instead of hating, characters fret about who they will love most and constantly push search for pleasure and love. The choice for fluid sexuality is necessary and I hope to see much more of depictions of fluid sexuality, anyway, I hope you view it and enjoy the film, I think it is more deserving of 4-5 stars and the 2 1/2 stars it has received most likely comes from a narrow minded bigoted group of individuals that oddly stumbled across the film.