Disclosure, based on the novel by Michael Crichton
“History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket.” - Alan Bennett, The History Boys
In the age of MeToo, after all the Disclosures of harassment of women, sexual abuse by powerful men like Harvey Weinstein – who has opened the infamous, nefarious series- who is facing retribution and Donald Trump that seems to somehow benefit from his boasting of grabbing pussies, Disclosure seems like some work from the Middle Ages, although it was only released in 1994.
This was an year when Michael Douglas – the fabulous star of Wall Street, for which he won one of his two Academy Awards, Wonder Boys and other motion pictures, some centered on sexual shenanigans such as Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction – and his costar Demi Moore – excellent in yet another film with an erotic theme, Indecent Proposal – where riding high.
Michael Douglas plays the role of Tom Sanders, such an unusual, outré character that it is hard – maybe impossible – to find some other personage with a similar standing in an artwork.
It seems impossible for a man to avoid making Indecent Proposals to a spectacular woman in motion pictures, novels, never mind repeatedly refusing her, standing up and fighting to remain pure, innocent and faithful.
Real life has brought over time – especially recently, in the last year – stories of women that have suffered vicissitudes, torment, pain, abuse, harassment, violations, restrictions, discrimination and more from men.
In History Boys , a masterpiece by Alan Bennett, there is a phenomenal quote that sums up history seen from the perspective of a woman history teacher, whereas the books on the subject have been written by men, who have mostly lead in history and foreseeable future in countries like Saudi Arabia and so many others…
“History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket.”
― Alan Bennett, The History Boys
Counterintuitively, in Disclosure it is the man who is abused by…a woman.
It happens so seldom that it looks like an oxymoron.
We could even try to think of the odds, perhaps this is one in a million shot…probably even more…one in one hundred million, in the circumstances depicted in this feature, with people like Tom Sanders and Meredith Johnson.
Notwithstanding the preposterous proposition, the filmmakers are aware of the strangeness of their plot line, for they have it in the dialogues…
When the hero, victim of abuse from a…woman, talks with Philip Blackburn, the latter is outraged by incidents reported by Meredith who accuses the victim of trying to molest and rape her.
When the protagonist shows the scratch marks on his chest as proof of the assault he has suffered, he is told that surely that happened while the evidently less powerful woman was trying to defend herself…
“Weak? She is fit as a fiddle…she can knock both of us to the ground in a few seconds” this is not a quote, but he said something similar
In conclusion, it seems strange to look at the adventures of the poor victim that suffers from sexual abuse, if that casualty is a man.
Although, in Fatal Attraction the improbability is taken to another extreme as the character played by Glenn Close comes close to killing the handsome hero portrayed by the eternal Michael Douglas…