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This haphazard fantasy is of interest chiefly to devotees of Roman Polanski and, even more so, of Gerard Brach, his longtime screenwriting collaborator. An attempt at broad comedy, this is the story of The Girl, an American hippie (Rome) who wanders into the decadent environment of a
seaside villa after nearly being raped while hitchhiking. She is given a room and, within moments, begins undressing under the peeping eye of Mastroianni, a former pimp, possible homosexual, and probable impotent pervert who defiantly insists he does not have any venereal diseases. Things are, at
the very least, strange in the villa. One inhabitant constantly groans in his room; some mysterious character peeps into Rome's room through a hole in the wall; two women wander through the terrace, both sporting fancy hats but only one wearing clothes; two young men play ping-pong, the sound of
which drives Mastroianni mad; and there is also a strange, Kafkaesque character, "Mosquito," played by Polanski himself. As if possessed by some sort of spirit of decadence, Rome comes topless to the breakfast table. Sometime later, her pants mysteriously disappear in the middle of the night. She
even has a sexual rendezvous with Mastroianni, who dons the skin of a tiger and demands to be "tamed" by the whip-cracking girl. Throughout the entire adventure, Rome carries a diary under her arm and writes curiously impersonal and unerotic entries. This is the least discussed of Polanski's
films, but on some levels it may be his most revealing. It becomes most interesting when viewed as the second part of a Polanski-Brach trilogy that includes REPULSION and THE TENANT--in all three films, the central character is a psychological prisoner of perverse surroundings. Considering the
subject of the film, there is surprisingly almost no sex, and the amount of nudity decreases as the story unfolds. Filmed in English, with some voices dubbed.