Sex is currency. It commands power and can instill fear. Tom, a young man with a troubled past finds himself sucked into a seedy underworld by George Norris, a now super villain with a sadistic streak. A helpless pawn in one of Norris’s narcotic scams with a bent cop, Dunston, Tom is dragged deeper into a vicious circle of blood money, vice and ruthless violence from which their seems no way out. Until fate gives Tom a glimmer of hope. When Norris is killed in his apartment, Tom seizes his chance to escape. Terrified and covered in Norris’s blood, Tom heads downstairs to his neighbors, Max and Nikki his new friends in the city. With going to the police out of the question, Max and Nikki speed Tom to their desolate cottage deep in the Welsh countryside. With the luxury of space, Tom begins to realize a long-forgotten dream; a return to happier times before his innocence was shattered. Suppressed emotion flood back provoked by Tom’s attraction to Nikki, a beautiful women fascinated by Tom’s past. Yet how long can this last with Dunston desperate to hunt down Tom before he exposes the corruption? It’s only a matter of time before his deadly past catches up with him again. But just how much is Tom willing to sacrifice…
This moody British film, not to be confused with Samuel Becket’s work of the same name, was chosen to “disturb” the festival audience, or so said the talking heads of the programming panel. Rent boy Tom (Daniel Newman) gets caught in the evil machinations of his pimp, gangster George Norris (Mark McGann) and a crooked cop Dunston (John Benfield), who enjoys using Tom from time to time, himself. A fateful twist causes Norris’s accidental death during his attempted rape of Tom. Desperate to escape Norris’s body and Dunston’s pursuit, Tom seeks the solace and protection of a very unlikely pair, his downstairs American neighbors Max and Nicki.
Max is a hothead consumed with a passion for money, while Nicki is more down to earth, but a bit unfocused and uncommitted herself. Why in the world would Tom come to them? Desperation, indeed. Walking totally of their initial characters (or perhaps showing us how complex they are?), Max and Nicki, after little hesitation, agree to hide Tom out at their rustic cottage in Wales. A very confused Tom is attracted to Nicki’s warmth, and they eventually “seduce” each other. We can understand Nicki’s dissatisfaction with Max’s self-absorbed hard shell of a personality, and her momentary attraction to Tom’s complete vulnerability. And despite how implausible it may seem at first, their sex scene makes sense once we realize that Tom is seeking tenderness, not hot sex per se.
All in all, this film hits home with its theme of sex as a tool of power which even the power-obsessed themselves can’t control. But it falls short trying to wrap things up with a fast and violent ending which leads Tom to a happy future, and leads Nicki to sacrifice much more than her husband, Max, does.
Director: Gary Wicks
Writer: Gary Wicks
Stars: Daniel Newman, Corey Johnson, Toni Barry
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Also known as: Cercle vicieux
Filming locations: London, England, UK
Format : Matroska
Format version : Version 2
File size : 1.68 GiB
Duration : 1 h 48 min
Overall bit rate : 2 220 kb/s