Celestine an All Round Maid
Don't be fooled by appearances, the happy context, the comic moments,
the comedy situations. Don't be fooled even by Lina Romay, Pamela
Stanford and a great Howard Vernon. Because in addition to the bare,
the soft-core scenes and the funny moments, there is a tough critique
of bourgeois society and respectability.
Jess Franco in his own way (in a very own way) elaborates the concepts
of "Le Journal d'une femme de chambre" a 1900 novel by Octave Mirbeau,
already finished on big screen in 1946 by Jean Renoir and in 1964 by
Luis Bunuel. This is a third version that takes inspiration from the
original and move ideas on sex and on protagonist that is a kind of
preacher of morals and ideas freedom. A real mission, by her own
admission, anti-conformist, which aims to explain to much people as
possible how good it's to live free. And if there is 1974's Lina Romay
who tells that you are assured that no matter how bigoted you are you
be convinced easily.
Jess Franco makes a sizzling erotic comedy, with little strokes of
genius, but very well structured, which goes straight from start to
finish (except for some small hitch).
An eroticism always present but much less explicit than in other
Franco's movies and an excellent ability to manage many events without
creating chaos. The story is set in the late nineteenth century, and
has his strong point on the characters taken from Mirbeau and blew
themselves up in their sexuality. "Celestine an All Round Maid" relies
on a cast that is exploited in the best of their ability. Howard Vernon
is memorable in the role of an elderly patient, a satyr, who loves hear
erotic novels rejuvenating with Celestine's treatments.
Celestine, the protagonist, is perfect for Lina Romay, who with her
beauty and her sunny manages to create a believable character who works
Pamela Stanford instead, statuesque beauty, plays the old man's
grandson, in love with her cousin, but still unaware of the pleasures
of the flesh. Behind this trio are other great characters that range
from servants (butler, gardener, another maid) to the owners father,
mother, with man very libertine and she very bigoted and a son very
hard-working but curious about the pleasures of the life.
A noble ambience, apparently respectable, upset by the arrival of
Celestine. She is a beautiful young girl who runs away quite naked (we
can remove quite) from a brothel after a police raid. She took refuge
in this huge house, convinces the gardener and then the butler to ask
the owner to hire her as a waitress. She offers her services, by day
and night for all of them, changing people's lives and creating a
strong emotional bond. Celestine helps them open their eyes, exposes
the hypocrisy but the persons of the house will reciprocate.
Fast-paced, funny situations, beautiful girls, in a film quite different from those at which the great Franco has accustomed us.