Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jade, Hysterical Blindness to Sex and Murder

William Friedkin has appeared on this blog with my review of the vastly underrated "Sorcerer" last November 24. No one has examined the grittiness (..or evil) that lurks within us better than Mr. Friedkin.  Today, we examine his 1995 film "Jade."  What lurks deep in the psyche of a sultry socialite, caught in an unloving marriage?  Even better, the very alluring Linda Fiorentino plays that role, and it is a steamy performance.  Whether it be in a formal gown, business suit, lingerie, or nothing at all, Ms. Fiorentino plays very nicely to the camera.  Though this is a brutal murder mystery, we the viewer must solve another mystery.  Is our beautiful protagonist a socialite who has made one unfortunate mistake?  ....or is she a blackmailed babe manipulated into prostitution?  ...or, my favorite, is she a manipulative, homicidal nymphomaniac?
A murder!  A very rich guy is killed in his mansion with a ceremonial hatchet.  David (David Caruso) responds as the deceased is a powerbroker with ties to presidents. David is an assistant DA with aspirations of running for California's Attorney General.  Our deceased also has a collection of pubic hairs from his favorite hookers (though, high class ones).  Uh oh, David's former lover emerges as a suspect, as she may have been the last one to see the victim alone...and has no alibi.  Also in the schmuck's safe were photographs of the governor screwing a young prostitute, Angie Everhart.  David and his investigative team find Everhart and she fills them in on a high priced sex ring catering to the most powerful politicians in the state.  Unfortunately for Ms. Everhart, her cooperation with the DA's office submits her to a gory death, as she is turned into a hairy ball of strawberry ice cream.  When the cops raid the high class brothel, they find evidence that Trina (Fiorentino) is also employed there.
As David confronts the governor (Richard Crenna), he receives some not too veiled threats.  David realizes that the most powerful and ruthless peeps in Callie do not want this case solved.  Witnesses start meeting grisly fates, and David himself almost drowns, and now he must delve into Trina's life and past.  All the evidence is pointing toward Trina, as she practically admits her hysterical blindness to her violent side.  I won't ruin the end, but it is a complicated one.  Also,  there is a car chase in this film rivaling Steve McQueen's in "Bullitt."  As powerful forces close in on David, can he trust Trina, his old lover?  Yeah, right!  Is Trina a femme fatale, or a sultry victim of circumstances?  Is Mr. Friedkin's depiction of California elected officials as sex-maniacs, thugs, and bullying blackmailers representative of all our cynicism toward our politicians?
Loreena McKennitt's "The Mystic's Dream" serves as the musical score for this film, and I downloaded it on my MP3 just after the closing credits. The acting is terrific by all involved, Mr. Caruso, Ms. Fiorentino, Ms. Everhart, and also Michael Biehn and Chazz Palminteri.  After watching "Jade," and especially Linda Fiorentino, you may need to hit the showers.  Available on Netflix, and for those of you who miss the 1990s, see "Jade" tonight. 

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