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Suite 16 Review

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A young stud who seduces rich older women and robs them finds himself in trouble when a tussle with one leads to her death. Hiding in the nearest room he finds he meets a paraplegic who agrees to hide him if he can watch as he beds a succession of women.

★★★★★

Dashing stud Chris (Antonie Kamerling) merrily works his way around Nice extorting money from middle-aged women in return for sex, but when one is accidentally killed in her hotel room, he flees into the first room he can find: Suite 16.

There he meets wheelchair-bound Glover (Pete Postlethwaite), a former playboy, now a dying man longing for fulfilment. Despite a nagging suspicion that Glover might be lacking the requisite marbles, Chris agrees to stay in order to avoid arrest, but soon the two realise they each have something the other wants: Chris has youth and vigour, while Glover has dosh, loads of it.

With promises of riches beyond his wildest dreams, Glover gets Chris to bed a series of hookers while he watches via a hidden video camera. But the demands get more extreme, and what started as harmless sex by proxy turns sinister. Deruddere's film works best when its two protagonists share the screen in the claustrophobic confines of the suite. Nothing is known of either's past and their motives remain veiled throughout. Although it has the feel of a two-handed play, the endless bonking stretches its credibility as a serious psychological drama, and, at times, it walks a perilously fine line between being stylishly erotic and just plain smutty.

While the handsome but vacant Kamerling's acting prowess is open to question - the role merely requires him to look good horizontally - the always reliable Postlethwaite puts in some sterling work, making up for the dubious plausibility of anyone hiring a surrogate male to satisfy their own lust.

An interesting idea mildly scuppered by its slightly vacant leading man.

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