banner image

:: Suite 16

This is an erotic thriller directed by Dominique Deruddere and set in the French Riviera. It tells of two men; Chris, an arrogant, good-looking young man, and Glover, a wealthy man confined to a wheelchair, sitting it out in a comfortable hotel. Chris stumbles into suite 16, bleeding profusely from his head wound suffered when his gigolo robbery took a bad turn. The egomaniac Glover has grown lonely and twisted inside, and strangely enough is not frightened of the young criminal on the run. Instead he makes him an offer he can't very well refuse, to stay with him and be given everything he wants. Chris's needs are material things - clothes, beer, food, cocaine, and women. In return, Glover receives a vicarious thrill watching him on a hidden video camera while Chris makes it with the prostitutes he supplies. Glover's servant, Paul, serves as the intermediary for Glover, carrying out all his orders. It all turns out to be a tedious game to see who is in control: brains or brawn.

What is quickly noticed is that Glover is manipulative and, probably, mentally sick. It is also determined that Chris is a misfit, unable to accomplish even his mundane aim in life; to become rich and live in the Caribbean. He is a failure in everything he does, even as a hustler, blaming all his misfortune on a poor upbringing. It is hard to feel anything for him but contempt. Other events unfold, including the presence of a woman, Helen, who becomes part of a cruel exercise between the men.

The film tries to build to a powerful climax but doesn’t quite end up living through its supposed controversy. Still, there is the fine acting performance of Pete Postlethwaite, who might have felt overwhelmed by being in such a trying film.