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Film / The Book of Revelation

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The Book of Revelation is a 2006 Australian film based on the novel by Rupert Thompson, directed by Ana Kokkinos and starring Tom Long, Greta Scacchi, Colin Friels, Anna Torv and Deborah Mailman.

Talented and acclaimed dancer Daniel (Long) is preparing for the opening night of a new performance directed by Isabel (Scacchi). When he goes out to get his girlfriend and fellow dancer Bridget (Torv) a packet of cigarettes, he doesn't come back. Tension mounts as he is still absent, and Isabel has to recast his role. She calls on the help of her friend Mark (Friels) a police officer with the Missing Persons division, but he can find no trace of Daniel.

12 days later, Daniel is thrown out of the back of a van. He returns to his and Bridget's apartment, and to the dance studio but will not say what happened, despite the large scratches down his back. In flashback, we learn that Daniel was abducted and held prisoner by three women to be used as their sex slave. They rape him and subject him to several other humiliations before dumping him back in the real world.

Daniel then sets out to find his abductors, and as he's only seen their bodies, begins an investigative odyssey of sexual encounters. It Makes Sense in Context. He soon finds comfort in the arms of Julie (Mailman) who, as a short Aboriginal lady, is automatically ruled out as one of his abductors, and Daniel slowly begins to regain his sense of trust and humanity with the world around him.

The film is very esoteric, and is not one to take lightly. Reviews were mainly positive, praising the performances of all involved (especially Tom Long in a challenging role) but the film is often criticised for being slow, with languid pacing and too much silence trying to pass as meaning.

Has absolutely nothing to do with the Biblical book, except maybe that the two texts feature people.

This film contains examples of the following:

  • Beautiful Sexual Assault Victim: One of Daniel's rapists says he was picked as he's beautiful.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Daniel's rapists torture him when he refuses to comply with their demands. They also rape and physically torment Daniel, saying it's just for pleasure after he asks why.
  • Commonality Connection: Daniel, who's struggling with his trauma after being kidnapped and raped, bonds with an Aboriginal woman named Julie after he meets her on a train, seeing her hand is scarred. Julie tells him that her sister stuck it into a pot of boiling water when they were kids, and Daniel sees some affinity in this with his own sufferings. He's also relieved from paranoia that she's possibly one of his (masked) rapists as all three were white, and Julie's shorter as well.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Daniel tries to find the masked women who raped him, as they had some marks on their bodies he saw to distinguish them. One of the trio had a red birthmark on her backside. He's shown checking many different women's buttocks to see if they too have such a birthmark. Another had a small tattoo between her breasts too.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Daniel reports to the police how a friend of his was kidnapped, which makes the officers laugh. He starts laughing hysterically with them. This, however, only applies to them, as the film narrative treats everything which Daniel suffered as rightly horrific and mentally scarring.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Daniel is raped in different ways by his female captors. None of it's ever portrayed as anything except horrific however, with him traumatized as a result later, although they (unsurprisingly) don't seem to think of this as being anything wrong.
  • Evil Wears Black: The three women who had kidnapped, imprisoned and raped Daniel all wore black concealing outfits.
  • Fan Disservice: Daniel and one of his rapists (who's quite good-looking) both masturbate explicitly while they're completely naked. As he's been coerced into this, it's naturally less than arousing. The same of course goes for when she anally rapes him with a strap-on dildo. Daniel later having consensual sex with a lot of women is also not very sexy, given it's born out of psychological trauma and a desperate attempt to find the women who'd raped him by finding two's large distinctive birthmark and tattoo.
  • Groin Attack: The women do something to Daniel's groin, injecting him with a sedative first, but we don't learn just what, only that his wound is healing well later.
  • I Have This Friend: Daniel tries to report the crimes he suffered, but can't say it was him. He says it was a male friend of his.
  • Karma Houdini: Daniel's rapists are not caught nor even identified in the film.
  • Lima Syndrome: Daniel attempts to bond with the woman among his kidnappers who anally raped him, asking her name and that she show him her face. She almost does before one of the others comes in. It's pretty clearly in hopes of identifying her, as Daniel had seen she has a large crimson birthmark on her right buttock prior to this.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Daniel's penis is visible when his kidnappers cut off his clothes, with one trying to touch it before stopping when he pleads that she not do this. He stays entirely naked for some time afterward. Daniel is also shown explicitly masturbating at their command when coerced to.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Women, in their case, but the trio who kidnapped and raped Daniel had on black masks that displayed only their eyes along with a part that could open and show the women's mouths too underneath hoods.
  • Manly Tears: Daniel bursts into tears near the end when Olsen realizes what he's been through and hugs him tightly.
  • Mistaken Identity: Daniel becomes convinced that a woman he sees in a bar was among the women who'd raped him. He follows her into the bathroom, assaults her and rips open her blouse to see if she's got the tattoo Daniel remembers between his rapist's breasts. She doesn't, and he's soon arrested.
  • Police Are Useless: Daniel tries to report the crimes he suffered, but the police start laughing after being told the perpetrators were women. After this, it appears that he understandly decides they won't help and tries to find his attackers on his own. It may be averted by the end though, when Daniel is seen starting to tell Oslen, a police detective, what happened (he's sympathetic and specializes in such cases).
  • Post-Rape Taunt: One of Daniel's rapists says he surprised them with how "willing" he was afterward.
  • Potty Failure: Daniel yells that he needs to pee at his kidnappers while they're imprisoning him. They do nothing, so he's forced to piss himself. Afterward, they use this as an excuse to cut off his clothes as he got dirty.
  • Promiscuity After Rape: Daniel starts picking up a lot of women after he was raped. In his case however this isn't a psychological effect solely but an attempt to locate his female rapists, as two had a birthmark and a tattoo Daniel saw, though he doesn't always have sex with them so long as he's able to check their bodies somehow.
  • Rape as Drama: The film reveals gradually that the three women who had kidnapped Daniel raped him repeatedly, exploring how he deals with this.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Daniel hasn't found his rapists by the end, and he's been arrested for assaulting a woman he wrongly thought to be one. Olsen is on the case though, so though Daniel still may be in trouble at least there's a chance for them being caught later.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Daniel's new apartment becomes one as he chalks up tallis of all the women he's slept with trying to find his abductors.
  • Sadist: After he asks why they're doing this, one of Daniel's rapists says it's just for their pleasure.
  • Sex Montage: Daniel is shown having sex with women in succession while trying to find his rapists, since one woman had a distinctive red birthmark on her buttocks, another a tattoo between her breasts and he checks through seeing them nude as they do it.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Daniel is shown as realistically traumatized by his kidnapping, twelve-day imprisonment and repeated rapes by three women. He has traumatic flashbacks, and is seen getting triggered by small things such as women walking in high heels like they did. Also, he's understandably paranoid that any white women who he meets might be one of his three rapists potentionally, as they were masked the whole time, desperately trying to track them down with the fact one had a large red birthmark and another a tattoo, picking up and having sex with many for checking this. He's also shown talking to himself absently sometimes reliving his trauma.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Given that she's present for the first half of the film, Bridget's disappearance from the story seems a bit odd.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: After he's injected with something by three cloaked people, Daniel wakes up in a strange room chained to the floor, with no notion how he got there. He never learns his location, though it appears to be near the water from the sounds nearby. Before long he has more to worry about as his three captors start raping and tormenting him.