María Valverde in MELISSA P. (2005, 1080p)

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MELISSA P. (2005, 1080p) (English Subtitles) | with time stamps for hot scenes (in comments)

Original was uploaded on 2022-10-22

 

An adolescent girl, living with her mother and her grandmother, will have her first sexual experiences in a heavy and excessive way.

REVIEW — Ruthless approach to female teen libido

An Italo-Spanish co-production about the sexual awakening of teenager Melissa, loosely based in the semi-autobiographic novel “100 colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire” by Melissa Panarello.

The movie shows the dilemmas, challenges, and darkness that young women face when they become sexual beings, try to accept their sexuality, but have no sexual education or guidance.

It is truly rare finding a movie that focus on teenager women and sex, and not men, and in which the woman is presented as an explicitly sexual human being.

The movie is frank and even ruthless in its approach to contemporary teens’ sexuality in general and Melissa’s in particular. We see her strong shameless strong sex drive, which she cannot harmonize with her wish to be loved and respected as a woman by a man. She struggles making sense of the importance of accepting social boundaries and not giving way to peer pressure to fit into a group, which is a quintessential teen problem. Melissa’s awakening is a path of pain as well as of pleasure, but takes her to very dark places, in scenes that can be disturbing.

Despite the good premises, the script is uneven, not always engaging, and has most adult characters barely sketched except for Melissa’s and for Melissa’s charming eccentric grandmother -played by Geraldine Chaplin-. The character of Melissa’s mother Daria -played by Fabrizia Sacchi- is barely drawn, and very stereotypical. The absent father, and his marital relationship with Daria, is barely explained, just a reference outside. Most male teen characters are depicted as despicable villains, stereotypical machos, and I don’t think I want to believe that is always the case.

Maria Valverde is very good as Melissa, actually, she’s the best thing in the movie. She has an impressive acting registry for such a young age. Her face is splendorous always, her expression innocent, childish, weak and boyish sometimes, hyper-feminine, dramatic, strong and sexual some others. Valverde has to deal with very raunchy scenes, some of them very dramatic, and she succeeds at making believable her character. Geraldine Chaplin is always a delight, but I did not find her especially inspired in this movie, mostly because the way her character is written. The rest of the actors are just OK.

A not always engaging movie, but with some interesting themes and a good performance by Valverde.

REVIEW (2) — Cruel and tender movie – just like the teen age which it describes

Based on a controversial novel, this coming-of-age drama from ‘A Bigger Splash’ director Luca Guadagnino focuses on a fifteen year old girl who begins to sexually experiment in unconventional and degrading ways. María Valverde is well cast in the title role and wearing negligible makeup, Geraldine Chaplin looks at least a decade older than her actual age in a memorable turn as Valverde’s feisty, free-spirited grandmother. Interesting as Valverde is to follow around, there are some gaps in her character progression. At times, it seems like she is acting out as a result of being rebuffed by her high school crush with at least a couple of points in which she agrees to do things to prove that she is “not a baby”. And yet, it is what happens to her grandmother that actually initiates her quest, and try as the film does, it has trouble finding a balance between being about grief and societal pressures. There is also something to be said for the lack of graphic imagery. Most of her exploits are told to us via diary entries and while this has the advantage of leaving it up to one’s imagination to fill in the blanks, everything that occurs resonates less since we only ever see fleeting glimpses of her quest. Curiously enough, even with the explicit content kept to a minimum, the film has still sparked some controversy. It is certainly not a film for all tastes and its low IMDb rating is only representative of just how divisive a movie it is. ‘Melissa P.’ is hardly a flawless motion picture, but there is more of interest to it than one might expect.

MOVIE TAGLINE — You have to lose yourself before you can find yourself

Also known as
Melissa P. | (original title)
100 Escovadas Antes de Dormir | Brazil (festival title)
100 Escovadas Antes De Dormir | Brazil (festival title)
Мелиса П. | Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)
Melissa P. 15 ans | France (DVD title)
Melissa P. – Mit geschlossenen Augen | Germany
To imerologio mias efivis | Greece (DVD title)
Melissa P. – Minden este 100-szor, kefével | Hungary
メリッサ・P 青い蕾 | Japan (Japanese title)
Мелисса: Интимный дневник | Russia
멜리사 P. | South Korea
17歲少女的愛慾日記 | Taiwan