Two Faces Of Truth is a Lupus attempt at long form drama, fifty minutes here. There's a complex plot that must work pretty well in Czech. The drama isn't quite up to TV standards, though they're getiing close. This is mostly due to some very slow editing, dwelling, for example, on a plot point of Roupec's lack of money for a good sixty seconds, when you get the point in five. Some of the acting (particularly St'ástný's) can be hammy. And the music here is a touch plinky-plonky: there's an unwise use of some crap brass samples. But at least it's been composed, and in many respects, the piece leaves other dramas in the genre far behind, and your average porn flick on a different planet. (I notice that I just labeled spanking films a genre! Lupus, I guess, are pushing for this.) Anyway, the drama is period, late 19th or early 20th century. The dialogue, even in translation, seems apt (Roupec's daughter to her mother when her mother refuses to buy her new shoes: "You'd put me in my coffin barefoot so that you could sell my old shoes!" The sets, costumes, lighting and makeup (particularly St'ástný's black eye) are effective; there's even a mid-European fairy tale feel with action partly set in a snow-covered forest.
Premise: two men live next door to each other. Each has a different take on the use of truth. Gráf (Tomás Gumsa) wants respect, but whines to his wife and daughter that he gets it from no-one, with the single exception of Roupec, his neighbour. He wants respect so badly, he feels that even his daughter's mild misdemeanour, an F in maths, brings shame on his family. Libena lies, knowing there's a punishment in store: she breaks the family cane and hides it in the kitchen stove, then pretends she doesn't know where it is. Gráf feels the truth should never be compromised. Libena's punishment will therefore be worse.
Roupec is more liberal with the truth. As a demonstration of this, he tells his wife and daughter that he would never be so cruel as to tell Gráf why nobody respects him: that he stinks of chemicals from the tanning plant. Roupec's daughter Vilma meanwhile needs new shoes. Roupec, a gambler, has frittered his wages away. He borrows more from the local usurer Liebowitz (Lars Moebius). When Liebowitz comes to collect, Roupec tells his daughter to lie for him, to say that he's in Vienna. Not, for instance, hiding in the woods. His daughter, however, tells Liebowitz the truth, remembering to lie only as an afterthought. Liebowitz' henchmen catch Roupec, give him a black eye, and steal his shoes to pay off the debt. Decent plotting, then. Pavel St'ástný as Roupec proves that it's not just the girls who suffer for Lupus films, by running home barefoot through winter snow.
Gráf's daughter Libena (Andrea Burdová) must therefore be punished for lying; Roupec's daughter Vilma (Veronika Pospísilová) for telling the truth - hence, two faces of truth. The two girls get short spankings from their mothers (Tereza Tomásková and Helena Kubeková). These are relatively mild, though we get a foretaste of the resilience of the girls' backsides, both quite firm and springy. Pospísilová's is worth watching for her squirming reactions. Then at the climax of the film, each girl gets forty strokes of the cane.
Libena (Andrea Burdová) reacts minimally to both her spanking and her caning. She's very pretty, but to me she looks at least twenty-five, a touch too old to be familial spanking material. Her caning is the last CP action in the film. Gráf, Tomás Gumsa, has just witnessed Vilma's caning next door; he needed to borrow Roupec's cane (Libena, remember, has broken his.) Both girls' canings are therefore witnessed by relative strangers, a device which Lupus use to heighten the sense of humiliation for the girls. Libena is bent over a chair (head facing back between her legs) and recieves one set of nine strokes, two of ten and one of eleven strokes. Pavel St'ástný (Roupec) hams it up as the witness, twirling his moustache like a silent movie baddy. The first two sets that Gumsa gives Burdová are mostly on her backside; the final two, gratuitously, are mostly on her thighs. Despite this, Andrea Burdová seems hardly to react, though this may be due to her face being hidden by a strut of the chair. When her caning is over, she gets up and walks tp the wall as if nothing has happened. (Though I'd rather see this than a fake reaction! I recenly watched Stalin 2 and was hugely irritated to see all the girls seemingly pretending to scream and sob; something I hope Lupus never do again.)
Burdová's caning felt disappointing because the previous one, Veronika Pospísilová's by Pavel St'ástný, was so completely awesome (which is why I'm writing about it last.) Veronika Pospísilová is the girl in the middle in Detention House 3. The one who screams and screeches like a trapped animal, remember? I bought Two Faces Of Truth solely because she was in it, and she doesn't disappoint. She has to strip naked and stand upright, legs apart and fingers touching behind her neck, while Pavel St'ástný canes her. Pospísilová is shaved downstairs; her hair up top is in Princess Leia Danish Pastries. She wears genuine braces. She's a nubile girl, and there's something about her standing there - she looks twice as naked as the other girl! One of the things I love about the spanking genre is that, during a spanking, some of the girls stop performing and start experiencing the thing for real. Veronika Pospísilová is at the top of this list. She is clearly terrified of what is to come; and during her thrashing, her terror just gets worse. She's the business: cute, awkward, submissive, extra-naked, and completely taken by the full experience. Tomás Gumsa's face is a picture (he's the witness here); inside his restraint, you can sense his lust.
Pospísilová is already crying (the snot-dripping kind) by the fifth stroke. From then on, she's constantly trying to wipe it away with her elbow. St'ástný scolds her, pulling her about once or twice by her elbow. At first I thought the standing position wouldn't work; but it does, as it gives Pospísilová plenty of leeway to twitch and spasm, shiver and squirm, and pretty soon start into her characteristic visceral screech. She never stops the caning in its tracks though; despite her reactions, she stays in position. By stroke eight, her backside is trembling full-on; she looks unbelievably naked and vulnerable. By ten, her eyelashes are soaked and her chin is rucked up and trembling. She even screams when he simply places his cane against her backside. St'ástný goes slowly, which milks her reactions.
She has to bend over, placing her hands on a stool for the final 18 strokes. The crew have taken the opportunity to place a camera down low behind her legs. Her legs are apart, giving transient views of her face and generous breasts. This time, St'ástný goes quickly. You've never heard screaming like it (apart from in Detention House 3!) So don't play it loud, or the crash at your door will be the SWAT team breaking in. Pospísilová's best comes right at the end with the final two strokes; her reactions (and the view!) are climax time.
The DVD has one or two extras, including interviews with the girls before and after their big scenes. These really add value to the product. Something I'd like to see is Lupus learning how to break their drama into chapters, as with Hollywood DVD's, which would make their product even more professional.
St'ástný to Pospísilová in her interview: "This was your second experience. Can the spectators expect more from you?" "Maybe when it heals, I will decide," she says. "How long did it take to heal last time?" he asks. "Three weeks," she says. "Every month then," he quips, "you can appear in a new one." She looks at the camera, and without negativity answers, "I will give it a thought." Maybe as an extra on each month's DVD, then? Or give her her own series! It's an amazingly erotic experience watching Pospísilová get it - the most rewarding performance I've seen, bar none. She's not a bad actress in the drama, either. In the first brief interview, St'ástný asks, "So you were never spanked by your parents then?" She answers, "They had a special method. They were putting nettles in my pants." Czech Republic, eh? That never happened where I grew up! But still, there's a subject for the first of her specials...
Anyway, got to go now. Think I might just watch her get thrashed again... quite possibly in luxurious slow motion this time.