The film glosses over a lot of key points that would have tied this together a little better, and while that wouldn't have solved all of the film's problems, it certainly would have helped. The only thing less vague than Dawson's descent into drugs and sex is her rise back to star college student. It just lacks any kind of authenticity. During the Q & A session following a screening of the movie with the star and director, they discuss the importance of the picture.
Apparently, they feel this will help victims of rape and abuse cope with their feelings. But that is completely unreasonable simply because Dawson's resolution to her rape is so implausible and unthinkable that I don't see how this would help anyone. The film's conclusion is sure to be debated for years, but it's simply vile and disturbing without any real purpose other than to shock the audience. It works, but to what purpose?
It's true when I say that I'll never forget it, but in this case I'll really be trying to. "Descent" is a pretentious, arthouse failure that is vile and ugly just for shock value. It's anti-therapeutic.
Sidenote- Anyone else notice Rosario's costars from Death Proof?
The rape scenes themselves are very long, but since nothing is really shown to give the awful effect, I just didn't think either was very effective.
Between these two rapes scenes, the film gets super boring.
It was nice to see Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine, aka Julie the Cat from The Mighty Ducks films, pop up for a few scenes, but that is all.
This was an awful movie. The star is for Rosario and that is all.
Overall the movie was genuine, the acting was honest, the characters are very well balanced and believeable, and if viewed with an open mind the film as a whole will give any viewer some very serious ideas to think about afterwards. For me this movie does for rape what Sandra Bullock and 28 Days did for alcoholism. It is a must watch.
Dark in its subject matter and the complexion of the film, Descent whiles most of its 100 minutes in as many depressing and angering scenes one could imagine, and there's not a single moment of comic relief. There are multiple rape scenes in this film, each of which goes on longer than we're used to seeing. I understand that the point of the film may be realism, but there's a line between wallowing in the mire and effective dramatic presentation of horrid events, and Descent dove off the cliff of wallowing.
Also, I wonder about what the film is saying. Maya is raped, and in response, she discovers her ability to manipulate others using her sexuality. Does this suggest that a woman's sexual power is tantamount to "reverse rape?" Does the discovery of one's sexual power mark a "descent?" Whatever the concept behind freshman director Talia Lugacy's filmm is, it isn't clear and could be debated.
Jared is a douche from the beginning, and the elevated dialogue that Chad Faust and Rosario Dawson are forced to utter makes the dynamic even more unrealistic. Faust's performance is bad because he fails to find anything worth liking in Jared, and Dawson's performance is good because despite it all, she finds something that draws her character to him and she can somehow make the bad writing seem natural.
Overall, Descent is remarkably disturbing and dark, and that's all it is, a catalog of horrors with no redeeming through-line.