I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published June 22nd 2013
A Very Sexy, Bold, Salacious And Emotional Film
In the 20th century we still think that our body is a temple, to be treated with respect; So it's a great privilege when one is granted the right to view such beauty. And yet a person has come along and epitomised nudity and established the notion as a form of entertainment.
Nudity is somewhat still a taboo in today's society, so back in the 70's, when Paul Raymond opened string of strip clubs in the heart of Soho (the seediest part of London) it created controversies but nevertheless saw him gain accolades, amassed wealth beyond his imagination and made him one of the most influential figures in the (adult) entertainment industry.
In spite of all the privileges that wealth can bring, the company of his ever suffering wife who continues to ignore his insatiable appetite in women, his beautiful mistress, his life was shattered when his daughter and confidante died of drug abuse. Paul Raymond became a recluse till his death in 2008 with a reputed $650 million in accumulated assets.
Fast forward to today, with the collaboration of Director Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan, a film based on the true life story of Paul Raymond was created. Hence the title "The Look of Love"
Paul Raymond was born Geoffrey Anthony Quinn in 1925 from south Liverpool suburb, brought up by his mother Maud and his sisters after being abandoned by their father when he was a young boy.
He started his career in the entertainment as a Psychic Healer and under the name of Mr and Mrs Tree, he set up a mind reading act. Raymond soon realized that the audience were more interested in his beautiful assistants especially when they were topless. Realising that there was money to be made in nude woman, he established a revue bar in Soho – London's West End, called " The Raymond Revue Bar" contravening British laws display of naked flesh by opening and declaring the club for 'Member's Only'.
The strip club soon became notorious among the rich and powerful and turned the seediest part of London into a sophisticated playground for the likes of international movie stars, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra.
Raymond turned huge profits running the strip clubs, spending it on properties. He acquired a publishing company and distributed "Men's Only" magazine. Soon he became known as the King of Soho.
But amidst his great wealth and power, happiness had eluded him and he died in 2008 as a recluse.
Directed by Michael Winterbottom has previously collaborated with Steve Coogan in a couple of movies. Coogan's impersonation of Raymond in this movie is somewhat lacking depth. For a father whose daughter and confidante had been taken at such a young age, you would think an anguished look would be etched on his face, but instead as he watched the interview about his drug fiend daughter being played on TV, he has the "get it all over done look". In fact, I duly believe that he was overshadowed by Raymond long suffering wife Jean played by Anna Friel. Her portrayal of a wife who tolerated his infidelity until he left her for his mistress, and received the biggest divorce settlement in the history of England.
Tamsin Egerton as Fiona Richmond is the beautiful mistress who replaced the spurned Jean as his lover. Raymond and Richmond meet when she auditions as a naked swimmer for his West End stage play. She was given the coveted job of a journalist upon Raymond asking her to write a raunchy column in his Men's Only magazine. Tamsin did a commendable portrayal of Richmond. She was beautiful, bright, and intelligent. She definitely did not come across as the victim of the ill-fated relationship.
The two women were both important in Raymond's life. But no one is more important that his daughter.
Imogen Poots as Debbie played the role of Raymond's daughter. Addicted to cocaine and alcohol, charismatic, so young, impressionable. Amidst all this she remained the most lovable daughter that a father could have asked for.
This is such a sad tale of a child that has everything and is loved unconditionally by everyone around her. Towards the end of the movie she belted out the rendition of the song, originally sung by Diana Krall "The Look of Love". It was sung with great conviction that it made the hair on my skin stand. All the while gazing at her loving father with those beautiful eyes gave great meaning to the Look of Love.
This movie, beyond its eroticism, is the beautiful story of a loving Father, who made billions through nudity. The sense of morality that woman had strived for had been discarded to give way to the men's desire. To be lusted upon is embraced and celebrated.
This film contains, coarse language, drug use, a lot of nudity, and sexual scenes. So if you're a bit prudish or squeamish, you might want to give it a second thought.
The Look of Love movie is due to be release on the 27th of June 2013.