Blu-ray Review: Cheeky (2000)

Cheeky BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Tinto Brass

Starring: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi, Mario Parodi, Mauro Lorenz

Cheeky tells the story of Carla (Yuliya Mayarchuk), a sexy young Italian woman who is apparently allergic to wearing underwear (of course) and is searching London for an apartment to share with her boyfriend Matteo (Jarno Berardi), who is still living in Venice. Carla goes to an estate agent where she meets flamboyant lesbian Moira (Francesca Nunzi), who immediately tries to seduce the beautiful Italian, and after the jealous Matteo finds some letters from Carla’s ex-boyfriend he breaks contact with her and forces her into an affair with Moira, shortly before he realises his mistake and comes to London.

Coming off the back – so to speak – of Frivolous Lola, Cheeky is something of a disappointment. Whilst the Tinto Brass trademarks are all in evidence and there’s more graphic nudity and sex than in his previous film, the lack of a real plot makes the film a lot less engaging and a lot less satisfying because of it. Yuliya Mayarchuk is certainly very pleasant on the eye but she doesn’t bring quite the same amount of carefree whimsy to the film as Anna Ammirati did to Frivolous Lola, and although they are different films about different people the tone that Brass is going for is the same in both films, and Cheeky doesn’t quite hit the spot in the same way.

The voyeuristic angle that Tinto Brass employs in most of his films is present, with the opening scenes of Carla strolling through a park and getting noticed by various folk a routine that the director has played out before in various ways, and he still very much likes his camera to focus (very closely and intimately) on women’s rear ends, but without any solid actors to interpret the fairly bland script in a playful way – like Patrick Mower managed in Frivolous Lola – a lot of the more ‘dramatic’ scenes fall flat and the humour is lost, making Cheeky a visually titillating film laced with a few of Brass’ observations about subverting the male/female roles in relationships but don’t go expecting anything deeper than that because it simply isn’t there.

Cheeky

Special Features: Featurette on the film with director Tinto Brass, original trailer, reversible sleeve featuring original and newly designed artwork by The Red Dress, collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and author Maitland McDonagh, illustrated with original archive stills.

UK Release Date: 10th February 2014

Arrow Video – Website

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