Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Movie Review: An American Brat in London

Strictly English (released in 2006)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
American girl gets dose of English domestic discipline

Victim Appeal:
The title character is portrayed by the famous and gifted Niki Flynn, so entertainment value is guaranteed. She looks great here, with dark and shoulder-long hair, and while the role isn't all that demanding, she is at her bratty best acting-wise. Niki plays a young lady from the US who is visiting an English relative in London and wreaks havoc in his household. Needless to say, many stern lectures and spankings ensue.

In the part of Niki's English guardian, we are treated to the bearded, dry-witted gentleman familiar from other Strictly English productions like Amelia-Jane Rutherford Vol. 1 (guaranteeing even more entertainment value). The constant banter between the two is a joy to watch and the main strength of the movie. I love how he insists on calling her "Nicola" - there is a wonderful posh sound to it, and among the potential full names for "Niki", it is one of my favourites, too.

Gratuitous Sadism:
The video jumps right in medias res without any delay. When the first scene opens, Niki has already been staying with her host for some time. He is getting tired of her watching TV at a thunderous volume, drinking alcohol without permission, not washing up and leaving the place in a mess. Since asking nicely doesn't work with her, he decides that good old-fashioned discipline is a more promising course of action: "It's time your bottom learned what a naughty girl's bottom feels like..." A protesting and disbelieving Niki goes over his knee for a three-and-a-half-minute hand spanking, first over her skirt, then on the panties, then on the bare.

Despite her assurance that her behaviour is going to improve, it doesn't seem to have had much of an effect. After staying out late, Niki lies in bed all morning and misses breakfast time by several hours. Another over-the-knee spanking follows, and again it progresses from clothed (jeans this time) to on the bare. In addition to the hand, a slipper and a hairbrush are used. Niki has had enough after the third implement and tries to run away, but her guardian grabs her and proceeds to whack her bottom with a wooden spoon (in the standing up position) until she agrees to go over his knee again. It's back to hand spanking for the rest of the punishment, with small doses of the hairbrush in between when she is particularly cheeky.

Later the same day, Niki leaves her clothes scattered all over the bathroom. She is spanked again (on the panties, then on the bare) and her host informs her that, this time, she will also get the cane (he seems to be an advocate of the "three strikes policy"). Niki is sent to fetch the instrument and, in a magnificent act of defiance, breaks it in two in front of his very eyes. Unfortunately for her, he has another, thicker and heavier cane - and by now, he is really determined to teach her some manners! After much back and forth (during which she makes a phone call to her parents, but receives no sympathy), Niki submits to a proper English caning.

Fully nude, she takes 12 strokes for the mess in the bathroom while touching her toes, and because she moved around too much, she receives another 12 bent over the back of a chair. To complete her comeuppance, Niki then gets six extra strokes, and harder ones, for breaking the other cane - new position, bent over, elbows on a sideboard. She is made to say "I'm sorry I broke your cane, Ernest!" after each one (in case you were wondering about the gentleman's name, as I was). Afterwards, while she stands in the corner and rubs her bottom, it looks as if she is sorry indeed - the English method has finally made a lasting impression on the "American brat".

As always with Strictly English videos, the focus here is on the personal chemistry and the banter, not on the severity. The various hand, slipper, hairbrush and spoon spankings are moderate. The caning is fairly good - 30 strokes in total, not overly vicious, but hard enough to leave some light marks (which, as I can attest from personal experience, isn't all that easy on Niki Flynn's frequently chastised bottom).

Best Reactions:
Obviously, I liked the reactions during the caning best - always my favourite instrument. They are nicely filmed, too, including a couple of facial reaction shots. Lovely wincing and writhing.

Best Line:
There are many good lines, including one right at the beginning when Niki sits in front of the TV and listens to some loud (and rather awful) techno music. Her host storms in and turns it off. She protests: "Hey, I was watching that!" "Watching it?" he replies. "I think half the street was listening to it!" The little exchange instantly sets the tone for the rest of the film.

However, I liked the following piece of dialogue best. During the second spanking, when Ernest informs her that she will get the hairbrush, Niki sarcastically comments: "No wonder the Empire fell!" He retorts with: "No wonder the Empire was so successful!" As a historian who often deals with the rise and fall of empires, and with the questions of why and how, I found that entertaining. What do you think, which one of them has the better point?

Nice Psychological Touch:
The final punishment scene comes with a nice, highly effective buildup. When Niki breaks the first cane and Ernest lets her know that he has another one, and that she is really in trouble now, she demands to make a call to her parents: "I'll tell them how you're treating me!" Ernest jovially tells her to go right ahead while he leaves for a moment to "fetch the stick". He comes back and finds a very meek, silent girl standing next to the telephone. "Nicola, I see you have spoken to your parents!" he smiles triumphantly. "And they told you no doubt what they told me in this email..." Showing her a printout, he reveals that Niki's parents sent her to England so that Ernest would make a well-behaved young lady out of their bratty daughter, and that they are, in fact, delighted about the proper discipline she is receiving now.

Still refusing to accept defeat, Niki tears the mail to shreds: "I would rather starve and live in the street than submit to this barbaric treatment any longer!" Ernest replies that she might find that rather awkward, since he has confiscated all her clothes and possessions. Noticing that she is wearing one of his shirts at the moment, he orders her to take it off as well. He leaves Niki alone and locked up in the room with nothing but her panties: "I will see you later, and we will continue the discussion! In the meantime, just think about your situation."

The confrontation is followed by a prolonged scene of Niki waiting - sitting on the floor half-naked and nervously thinking to herself, searching the cupboards for something she can use to escape (or perhaps just something to eat), trying to open the door, then sitting down again and simply waiting, resigned to her fate. The montage of shots, and the brief fadeouts in between, imply that it lasts for hours. When Ernest finally returns (the other, heavier cane in hand), his American guest, now much more quiet and compliant, submits to her punishment like a good girl.

How Good Is It Really?
This is one of the lesser Niki Flynn movies in terms of story and scale of the production. It's a straightforward, one-on-one domestic discipline setting, and certainly not the first time we have seen the "American brat discovers how we Brits do things over here!" scenario. The technical craftsmanship is decent and the CP action is good, but not great.

On the plus side, the chemistry of the two players is palpable and they imbue the proceedings with a lot of life. It's always gratifying to review a spanking film with witty dialogue and a cast that can actually act. Both Niki and the top do a fine job here. I also liked the use of dramatic pauses and progression. The buildup to the caning scene is exemplary. Aspiring CP porn producers should study it for inspiration - this is how you do it. In summary, an above average video and well worth watching.

What You Learned:
Why the British Empire fell. Or why it was so successful. Depending on your point of view.


Indy said...

I wonder what this film says about the reasons behind the decline of the American Empire...

Fun to read a review of a film I've actually seen!

Ludwig said...

Well, arguably, the practical purpose of reviews is to read about films you haven't seen, in order to decide if you want to see them. But I'm glad you liked it. (And I agree, I find it interesting to read reviews of films I have already seen, too...)

As for the "American Empire", that's an interesting (and controversial) question to begin with - are the US an empire or not? My answer would be that they aren't an empire in the classical sense, but that they have quite a few characteristics of one. The same is true of the European Union, in my view.

But this is a kinky blog, and I am not interested in getting involved in ideologically charged political questions like that here! So they are best discussed in other corners of cyberspace.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, so serious, Ludwig! You remind me of Klaus Schenkmann's response to a query in Old Git magazine about why Germans have no sense of humour. He claimed that Germans had a long tradition of comedic jokes and proceeded to share some of his favourites, including this one:

Why did the Czech tourist cross the road?

Because he was impressed by the excellent crossing facilities on major German routeways, compared to the relatively poor facilities constructed by his own Czech government. He was so distracted by the quality of the road that he did not see the car speeding towards him. Look out, Mr Czech!


Ludwig said...

This blog is not a humorous institution, Miss Flynn, and questions of imperialism are no laughing matter.

In case there was any doubt in your mind, I wasn't trying to be funny by consciously being unfunny. No such complex meta-trickery here. The truth is, I simply couldn't think of anything appropriately sarcastic to say to surpass Indy's "American Empire" remark. Since sarcasm is the only kind of humour I allow myself (once a week, and only after 5 PM), I had no choice but to make a serious reply.

As for Herr Schenkmann: I pride myself on knowing a lot of excruciatingly lame jokes, but I have to say, that one might just qualify as the single worst joke (not-joke?) I have ever heard. My compliments, he is truly an adornment to our nation.