Friday, July 16, 2021

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants / Koirat eivät käytä housuja (2019)

A softcore erotic film about S&M. It feels like the film barely got produced, with concessions made to focus more on family than pain. Awkward intangible bullshit does not a tense thriller make. The frame story gets so much screen time that I am left wondering what the film could have been.

This is far from a perfect film, but compared to the more mainstream fare the likes of Amazon are trying to push, it’s nice to see a Finnish product.

A title like Dogs Don’t Wear Pants should clue you in to the reality that this is an introductory S&M film, as most are. Where the film deviates from mainstream American cinema is the presentation of the material as something other than comedy. Bondage situations are often stoner comedy punch lines, so credit is due for a more present take on the subject. For a sexual persuasion that is more accepted than, say, furry fandom, it’s surprisingly rare to see an image like this in the proper context:


A lot of people are looking for something like this. While I do feel that the father-daughter subplot, the drowned wife subplot, and the excessive sensitivity of the dominatrix are all worn-out fabrications that don’t belong in the film, this is still a fine education if you’ve been living under a rock.

I think that people become what they need to be and have no real morality, and that’s where my life experience differs from that of the audience the producers must have imagined. At least in their efforts to mainstream S&M, they showed a rather appealing nightclub at the end. This too appears to be a fabrication. Regardless, I’d like to go there. Such places do exist outside of Scandinavian cinema.

I can’t give this film a strong recommendation due to its missed potential. But it’s a start. If it came down to recommending or not recommending it, I say watch it. It need not be so tender, it need not be so kind, but it portrays fictional characters in a real world, and in that way it elevates itself above the generic fish-out-of-water stories that populate this subject in film. Here is a story about a man who finds his way into a lifestyle he was born for with the help of a chick who cares just enough to make the story cohesive for its audience.