There are films that mark their era by their audacity, their mystery and their ability to arouse passionate debates. “Basic Instinct”, directed by Paul Verhoeven and released in 1992, is undeniably one of those iconic films. This both erotic and psychological work has captivated audiences around the world with its intricate plot, ambiguous characters and provocative scenes. It will be available on the NETFLIX platform from Tuesday, August 15, 2023.
A dark and erotic thriller
The film Basic Instinct features the character of Catherine Tramell, played brilliantly by Sharon Stone. Catherine is a successful novelist, famous for her stories that are both erotic and criminal. When one of her lovers is found brutally murdered, police detective Nick Curran, played by Michael Douglas, is put in charge of the investigation. Very quickly, Nick finds himself caught up in a game of seduction and manipulation with Catherine, who seems to be both the main suspect and an invaluable source of inspiration for him.
Murders and sexual tension
The heart of the film lies in the complex and dangerous relationship between Catherine and Nick. From their first meeting, the chemistry between the two characters is electric, and we immediately feel the sexual tension that envelops them. Catherine plays a modern, independent and mysterious femme fatale, while Nick is haunted by his own demons and troubled past. Their tumultuous interaction oscillates between seduction, defiance and psychological confrontation.
The interrogation scene
The most emblematic element of “Basic Instinct” is undoubtedly the scene of the famous interrogation at the police station. Catherine, dressed in a tight white dress, crosses and uncrosses her legs suggestively while answering questions from the investigators. This sequence, which has become legendary, perfectly embodies the mixture of sexual tension and psychological manipulation that characterizes the film. It raises questions about Catherine’s true nature: is she a calculating criminal or a powerful woman who knows how to play with her charms to get what she wants?
Manipulation and Psychology
Ambiguity is a constant throughout the film. The viewer is constantly pushed to question the motivations and intentions of the characters. Is Catherine Tramell really guilty of the crimes attributed to her, or is she a victim manipulated by an investigator plagued by his own obsessions? The screenplay skillfully juggles these doubts and pushes the audience to explore the darkest recesses of the human psyche.
Along with its erotic and psychological elements, “Basic Instinct” also tackles deeper themes, such as control, manipulation and the nature of obsession. The characters in the film are all bound by unfulfilled desires and well-kept secrets, which creates an atmosphere of permanent mistrust. The spectator is invited to dive into this troubled universe where nothing is ever what it seems.
Basic Instinct: an international success
Despite the controversy and criticism that surrounded its release, “Basic Instinct” made cinematic history for its boldness, careful direction, and memorable performances. The film has also fueled debates about the portrayal of sexuality and violence on screen, as well as how women are portrayed in the context of popular culture.
Commercially, Basic Instinct was a success, grossing $353 million worldwide, on a budget of $49 million.
“Basic Instinct” remains a staple of cinema for its unique blend of sensuality, suspense and psychology. Paul Verhoeven has created a provocative and captivating thriller that continues to fascinate viewers decades after its release. The film reminds us that behind seduction and appearances often hide obscure motivations and complex power games. “Basic Instinct” remains a cinematic enigma that continues to spark interest and fire the imagination. Its arrival on the NETFLIX platform will make it possible to rediscover this classic thriller, or to some to watch the film for the first time.
BASIC INSTINCT – director: Paul Verhoeven – genre: thriller – release date in France: May 7, 1992 – main actors: Michael Douglas (Inspector Nick Curran) and Sharon Stone (Catherine Tramell) – duration: 128 mins – release date on NETFLIX : August 15, 2023 – prohibited for children under 16 when it is released in France.
Founder of the MONSIEUR VINTAGE site on February 14, 2014, Philippe comes from the automotive written press: Auto Plus, Sport Auto, Auto Journal, Decision Auto, La Revue Automobile and La Centrale. He also collaborates with EDGAR magazine as head of the auto/motorcycle section.