A taut, erotic thriller and indeed one of the finest murder mysteries ever made.
Sharon Stone steals the show by seduction and eroticism. The film is known for the erotic scenes above everything else. It has the most paused moment in cinematic history, which is the the leg crossing scene of Sharon Stone.
There is lot of eroticism which I suppose was needed for the plot, as the protagonist Catherine Tramell seduces men into her plot and uses them as tools for her own written plot. So no qualms, with the nakedness of characters in this. It never seemed that it was over the top or it could have been avoided. This marks the ingenuity of the writer. It is called smart writing by embedding some real erotic scenes to make it more interesting.
Murder mysteries if written well are generally interesting, but this was had the oomph factor with Sharon Stone as protagonist. She did go the full throttle and dug deep into the character. She made the enigmatic writer into a well balanced and a reasonable character. That enigma which she carried on screen transpires even in the viewers mind. At least it did drive my mind, so I rate her acting in this very film highly. Never before and never after did I see such a composed performance from Sharon Stone and probably I never will again. But what she did in this film alone is enough for her lifetime. She made Catherine Tramell one of the most memorable characters in Cinema History.
I am surprised that Sharon Stone overshadowed a star like Michael Douglas in the film. If written well and acted with complete submission, the roles becomes supreme and raises above the script. Taking the script itself to greater heights.
The credit for this film must go to the writer Joe Eszterhas and the director Paul Verhoeven. every dialogue is terrific and the choice of words is meticulous and apt.
Technically, I loved the editing and it's cut at the right moments with right space between each scenes. The transpiration of emotions is well conveyed and the acting indeed by all is great. Just that Sharon is above others in this means she is just greater by an inch above others. The production values are good and it makes a film stand long and I suppose, even 20 years later, people will watch it with same reverence as they did 20 years earlier (from now, 2014) when it was initially released.
A 4/5 for this, undoubtedly for the lines and Sharon Stone.