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"ORIGINAL SIN"
(2001) (Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate None Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A man tries to track down his wife after discovering that she's been posing as the mail order bride he initially intended to marry.
PLOT:
Sometime in the past, Luis Vargas (ANTONIO BANDERAS) is a successful Cuban businessman who has everything in life but a wife and family. Accordingly, he arranges to marry an American woman he knows only through letters they've sent to one another.

When the ravishing Julia Russell (ANGELINA JOLIE) finally arrives to be his bride, Luis is taken aback a bit since she looks nothing like the photos of her that he earlier received. She explains that she didn't want a man interested in her only for her looks, which suits him just fine since he had also fibbed to her about his status within his company so that she wouldn't marry him just for his wealth.

The two are then quickly married, and while their passion isn't immediate, it's quite strong once it develops between the two. Things couldn't seem to be going any better for them until Luis receives a visit from Walter Downs (THOMAS JANE), an American investigator who's been hired by Julia's sister, Emily (CORDELIA RICHARDS), to check up on Julia's whereabouts and well-being.

Luis assures Walter that Julia is just fine with him, but by the time he learns that the woman he married is really an impostor, she's cleaned out both his belongings and bank accounts. From that point on, Luis joins forces with Walter to track down this woman that he still loves, not realizing the various surprises that are in store for him once he finds and discovers the truth about her and others he's met.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Some teens may be drawn in by the ads promising certain amounts of steaminess & sex, and fans of anyone in the cast may want to see it as well. Most other kids, however, will probably ignore this film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexual content and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • To avoid giving away any surprises/revelations, certain facts where characters turn out to be something other than what they said/how they appeared will not be revealed, but it should be noted that several characters purposefully deceive others about their identities and goals, and plot to kill one man.
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS plays a businessman who becomes so enamored with the woman he arranged to marry that he goes to any extreme to have her with him, including attempting to kill another person. He also smokes cigars a few times.
  • ANGELINA JOLIE plays a voluptuous woman who feigns being Luis' bride-to-be, marries and has passionate sex with him, and then abruptly leaves, taking his heart and money with her. Once reunited, she continues to act untrustworthy and has some sort of odd relationship with Walter.
  • THOMAS JANE plays a detective hired to find the real Julia, but he turns out to be something rather different than he states.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated dramatic thriller. A steamy and graphic sexual encounter shows full (but not technically pornographic) views of a couple having sex, including shots of related movement, her bare breasts and his bare butt, along with related sounds.

    Later views of her and other women's bare breasts, as well as the male protagonist's bare butt are also present. Other sexual encounters are implied (including that with prostitutes), there's an odd sexual tension (and some brief groping and S&M material) between a couple that may or may not be brother and sister, while the female protagonist also shows abundant amounts of ample cleavage throughout the film. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives.

    Violence consists of a person being shot to death (with another earlier and similar incident turning out to be all staged), a person being beaten by other men, various characters grabbing others by the throat (including that of a man to a woman whom he also slaps and knocks around), and some threatening with a gun and knife. Some of that material has moderately bloody results and may be tense or unsettling for some viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and they and others drink and/or smoke.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who may want to see it, we recommend that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information regarding what's present and occurs in the picture.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a wedding reception.
  • Luis and another man have drinks in front of them.
  • Luis wakes up with a bottle in front of him, and then drinks with Walter and appears somewhat intoxicated.
  • Various people drink in a restaurant.
  • Luis and Walter go into some place to have a drink.
  • Julia pours herself some liquor and then downs it in one shot.
  • While Luis plays poker with others, Julia pours whiskey and champagne for them.
  • Some miscellaneous people drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see blood on Luis' head as well as some coming from his nose and mouth after some men beat him up.
  • Played with some sexual context, a man uses a knife to cut another line on Julia's bare back beneath several rows of scars of the same and we see some blood from the cutting.
  • A little bit of blood comes from a man's mouth after he's been shot (we also briefly see a small, bloody bullet hole in his clothing).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • To avoid giving away any surprises/revelations, certain facts where characters turn out to be something other than what they said/how they appeared will not be revealed, but it should be noted that several characters purposefully deceive others about their identities and goals, and plot to kill one man.
  • Julia and Luis admit, upon first meeting each other, that they weren't completely honest about revealing themselves to the other through letters they sent.
  • Luis' friend comments that there's no such thing as a happy marriage and that he's surprised that Luis isn't back to the "whores" just after his marriage.
  • A woman has a bit of a condescending attitude toward Julia and her behavior.
  • A person deceives another and cleans out their bank account.
  • Walter says that women don't really serve any purpose beyond the necessities and mentions something about intercourse.
  • Needing to make money, Julia and Luis set up a system of hand codes where she'll tell him what hands others hold as he plays poker with them.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Armed with a pistol, Luis acts menacingly toward Julia after finding her (even stating that he's come there to kill her). She then holds that gun to her chest, wanting him to shoot. He doesn't, but does violently lift her to a standing position where he slaps her. Still trying to get the truth from her, he violently grabs her by the neck and then slaps her several more times. He then throws her to the floor where he holds his gun to her head (but they eventually console one another and nothing else violent happens).
  • A person knowingly drinks something tainted with poison and immediately reacts to that (stumbling and foaming at the mouth, etc.) all while another person's accomplice comes after them as they try to get away.
  • A man holds a knife to Julia's chin and kicks Luis away. Luis then shoots this man in the gut and Julia then takes the gun and shoots that man dead.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles: Worn by various soldiers/guards.
  • Old cannons: Seen atop some old, seaside fort.
  • Handgun: Used by Luis to shoot open a lock on a trunk and carried by him and others on several occasions.
  • Handgun: Used to shoot a person several times (once unknowingly with blanks, the second time for real that results in a death).
  • Knife: Used by a man to cut a line on Julia's bare back (in a sexual context) and later held to someone's chin.
  • Poison: Used in an attempt to kill someone.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Whore(s).
  • Needing to make money, Julia and Luis set up a system of hand codes where she'll tell him what hands others hold as he plays poker with them.
  • A man makes Julia say that she's his, and then opens her mouth and spits inside it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • As accompanied by sudden music in a quiet scene, a man's hand suddenly appears on a woman's shoulder.
  • A presumably dead man suddenly grabs Julia.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and dramatic music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 possible use of slang for male genitals ("d*ck"), 3 damns, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 hell, 3 uses of "Christ," 2 of "Good God" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "My God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Julia shows abundant amounts of cleavage in various scenes in varying, low-cut outfits she wears.
  • We briefly see a nude, preadolescent girl (in a nonsexual context).
  • Luis and Julia passionately kiss outdoors (clothed) and we then see that scene intermixed with a later sexual encounter between them. During all of this, we see various shots (some of the head and shoulders variety, others full body) of them kissing/making out; along with him groping her clothed breast; then him kissing and groping her bare breast; her apparently performing oral sex on him (we see his reaction to her being down at that part of his body, but don't see anything explicit in that regard); her bare leg up along his back; him on top of her between her legs (from an aerial shot with a view of his bare butt and her bare breasts) and then kissing down her chest and belly; we hear their pleasured sounds with him on top of her; another overhead shot of them having sex (his bare butt between her legs with some movement); her then sitting up on top of him (as he also sits and seen from the same aerial view); and then shots of them after sex (more views of his bare butt and her bare breasts).
  • Luis and Julia do some more passionate kissing (clothed) and she amorously tells him to take her home.
  • After Julia says she smoked a cigar so that she could taste Luis in her mouth, the two passionately kiss and we then see the two of them in a large, metal bathtub together (with the camera showing various close-ups of individual, non-explicit body parts) and eventually see them from something of an aerial view that shows her bare breasts.
  • After Julia leaves him, Luis goes to see a prostitute and it's implied that they have sex.
  • As a hooker sponges/wipes herself off while seated on a bed, we see her bare breasts.
  • Walter says that women don't really serve any purpose beyond the necessities and mentions something about intercourse.
  • We see a bare-breasted woman during a nighttime, outdoor celebration.
  • A man tells another to treat himself to a good dinner, cigar and whore.
  • Julia returns to her hotel room with an older Colonel who states he's been waiting all night for this. He then kisses the top of her breasts (exposed in her low-cut dress) and then up her neck. We then see her putting money in her garter (that exposes a great deal of her upper leg) and then see him standing right up against her from behind (both are still clothed). She then asks him to undo her dress and he does, but she then wants him to leave. He states that he'll only watch, but she finally gets him to leave.
  • The following morning we see Julia and Luis in bed under the sheets (after having a fight the night before - and it's implied that they had sex). During this, we see part of her bare breast (most notably the nipple) sticking out at the top of the sheet. They then do some more passionate kissing (with more views of her bare breasts), but a knock at the door interrupts them. Luis then answers the door completely nude (we see his bare butt in the foreground of the shot several times) and the above Colonel is shocked to see his frontal nudity (that we don't see). Luis then smugly tells the Colonel that he's involved in a private function where clothes are more of a hindrance than help.
  • A man grabs Luis by the neck, acts menacingly toward him and then plants a full-mouthed kiss on him (wondering if he'd taste Julia on him).
  • A man holds Julia's arm behind her back (with some sexual overtones to his behavior). Later, while holding her against him (with her back to his front), he says something that sounds like her body tickling his "d*ck." He then calls her a whore and puts one hand on her clothed breast and then takes the other and puts it up under her dress to her crotch (and she reacts to that but we don't see any nudity). He also states that he was her "first man" and that he'll be the last. He then tries to kiss her, and she seems compelled/desirous to kiss him back, but stops herself. In a later scene, that man makes her say that she's his and then opens her mouth and spits inside it (as she acts sensuously).
  • It's implied that Julia may have had sex with at least one man after he and others caught her and Luis cheating at playing poker with them (he begins to lift up her dress just as the door closes and the scene ends).
  • Played with some sexual context, a man uses a knife to cut another line on Julia's bare back beneath several rows of scars of the same.
  • Luis follows Julia into a brothel where we see a bare-breasted woman, various couples kissing, a woman subtly grinding/rubbing her rear end on a man's crotch (both are clothed and standing), and another bare-breasted hooker with a man.
  • SMOKING
  • Walter, Luis and another man each smoke cigars on several occasions, Julia smokes a cigar once, and various miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • A man tells another to treat himself to a good dinner, cigar and whore, while later Julia asks Luis to light her a cigar.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Those who deceive others through elaborate artifice.
  • The exact relationship between Julia and Walter.
  • Luis being so enamored with Julia that he'll do anything - including attempting to kill someone - so that he can be with her.
  • VIOLENCE
  • After being told he can't be backstage between acts of a play, Luis pushes the man who informed him of that.
  • Luis and another man briefly exchange blows wearing boxing gloves.
  • We see that someone has killed a small songbird by breaking its neck (we see the dead bird, but not the act).
  • Luis shoots a locked trunk open with a pistol.
  • Mad about what has happened, Luis briefly grabs a banker by his clothes.
  • Armed with a pistol, Luis acts menacingly toward Julia after finding her (even stating that he's come there to kill her). She then holds that gun to her chest, wanting him to shoot. He doesn't, but does violently lift her to a standing position where he slaps her. Still trying to get the truth from her, he violently grabs her by the neck and then slaps her several more times. He then throws her to the floor where he holds his gun to her head (but they eventually console one another and nothing else violent happens).
  • Although we don't see any of it (and only hear the account), Walter informs Luis that his real intended wife-to-be was found dead from knife wounds to the throat.
  • A man grabs Luis by the neck, acts menacingly toward him and then plants a full-mouthed kiss on him (wondering if he'd taste Julia on him). Luis then shoots this man at point blank range and then shoots him several more times (no blood and we later learn that the gun only contained blanks, although Luis thinks he really killed the man).
  • A man holds Julia's arm behind her back (with some sexual overtones to his behavior).
  • After downing a shot of liquor, Julia throws her glass against a wall where it shatters.
  • After others discover that Luis and Julia have been cheating at poker, Luis takes a bottle and tries to hit one of them with it. As one man holds Julia, another knees Luis in the gut and punches him in the face. They then throw Luis down some stairs (and we see blood on his head as well as some coming from his nose and mouth) and we later see him on the ground unconscious. One man then asks what other tricks Julia might know as he begins to lift up her dress (just as the door closes and the scene ends). It's thus implied that either she willingly had sex with him and others, or that they raped her.
  • Played with some sexual context, a man uses a knife to cut another line on Julia's bare back beneath several rows of scars of the same.
  • A person knowingly drinks something tainted with poison and immediately reacts to that (stumbling and foaming at the mouth, etc.).
  • A man holds a knife to Julia's chin and kicks Luis away. Luis then shoots this man in the gut and Julia then takes the gun and shoots that man dead.



  • Reviewed July 31, 2001 / Posted August 3, 2001

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