Descent (2007 film)
|Directed by||Talia Lugacy|
|Produced by||Rosario Dawson
Morris S. Levy
|Written by||Talia Lugacy
|Music by||Alex Moulton|
|Edited by||Frank Reynolds|
|Distributed by||City Lights Pictures|
Maya is an up-and-coming artist and college student. In the winter of her senior year, Maya attends a fraternity party and talks to a man named Jared. She accepts his invitation to dinner at a restaurant, then goes to his apartment, just to talk. They start to make out, but when Maya tells him to get off, Jared soon reveals his true self and brutally rapes her while uttering racial slurs in her ear. When he is finished, Jared threatens Maya that if she ever tells anyone what happened in his apartment, he will deny everything while putting back on his nice-guy facade and shifting the blame to her.
Over the next year, Maya's personality changes. She becomes quiet and withdrawn, graduating from college and taking a job at a clothing store. She disconnects herself from familiar surroundings and struggles to break free of the resulting depression and addiction. At night, she's someone else: a beauty at the nightclub scene, dancing, seductive, sniffing cocaine, becoming the friend of a heavy hitter. She thinks about her racial identity. Maya later meets and seeks out the help of a DJ she meets at a club, named Adrian, whom she confides in what happened to her and he agrees to help her get revenge on her attacker.
One evening, Maya meets Jared once again and lures him to her apartment with the intent of having sex with him. Jared willingly complies. She turns the tables on him by tying him to her bed and blindfolding him. She allows Adrian to rape Jared several times. Echoing what Jared said to Maya, Adrian threatens Jared with public humiliation should he ever report this incident to anyone. In the final shot, as Maya watches Adrian brutally sodomize Jared, she seems slightly regretful and recalls herself saying she'd enjoy her revenge, and then sheds a tear, seeming to indicate she is still not over her psychological issues.
- Rosario Dawson as Maya
- Chad Faust as Jared
- Marcus Patrick as Adrian
- James A. Stephens as Professor Byron
- Vanessa Ferlito as Bodega girl
- Tracie Thoms as Denise
- Alexie Gilmore as Seline
- Jonathan Tchaikovsky as Tyler
- Nicole Vicius as Melanie
- Scott Bailey as Upstairs guy
Descent was released in two alternate cuts: a 105-minute uncut NC-17 rated version and a 95-minute R-rated version. The notable difference between the two is that the edited release omits about seven minutes of the second rape scene.
Descent received mixed to negative reviews, currently holding a 36% rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes based on 33 reviews. The consensus states: "Descent has the potential to make a statement about sexual violence, but falls flat by focusing on revenge rather than Rosario Dawson's emotional state." On Metacritic, the film has a 45/100 rating based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".