|Content Rating||NC-17 (NC-17)|
|Company||City Lights Pictures, M.E.G.A. Films, Trybe Films|
Descent (2007 film)
Descent is a 2007 American thriller film directed by Talia Lugacy and produced by and starring Rosario Dawson.
Maya is an upcoming artist and college student. In the winter of her senior year, Maya attends a fraternity party and meets a student named Jared who immediately starts courting her using all his eloquence behind which there is nothing but lies. Seduced by his lies, she accepts his invitation to dinner at a restaurant, then goes to his apartment, just to talk. They start to make out, but when Maya tells him to stop, Jared soon reveals his true self and brutally rapes her while uttering dehumanizing slurs in her ear.
Over the next year, Maya's personality changes. She becomes quiet and withdrawn, graduating from college and taking a job at a clothing store. She disconnects herself from society and other familiar surroundings while struggling to break free of the resulting depression and addiction. At night, she's someone else: a beauty at the nightclub scene, dancing, seductive, sniffing cocaine. Maya later meets and seeks out the help of a DJ she meets at a club, named Adrian, whom she confides in.
Maya becomes TA to a class Jared is in. One day she catches him cheating on an exam and threatens to report it, but instead uses it as an opportunity to lure Jared to her apartment. Jared willingly complies. She turns the tables on him by tying him to her bed and blindfolding him. She allows Adrian to rape Jared several times. Echoing what Jared said to Maya. In the final shot, Maya sits on the bed while behind her Adrian brutally sodomizes Jared. She eventually turns to Adrian, appearing to have been crying tears of joy silently.
- Rosario Dawson as Maya
- Chad Faust as Jared
- Marcus Patrick as Adrian
- James A. Stephens as Professor Byron
- Vanessa Ferlito as Bodega girl
- Tracie Thoms as Denise
- Alexie Gilmore as Seline
- Jonathan Tchaikovsky as Tyler
- Phoebe Strole as Innocent Girl
- Nicole Vicius as Melanie
- Scott Bailey as Upstairs guy
Descent was released in two alternate cuts: a 105-minute uncut NC-17 rated version and a 95-minute R-rated version. The notable difference between the two is that the edited release omits about seven minutes of the second rape scene.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 35% based on reviews from 34 critics, with an average rating of 4.88/10. The website's consensus states: "Descent has the potential to make a statement about sexual violence, but falls flat by focusing on revenge rather than Rosario Dawson's emotional state." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100 based on reviews from 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Matt Zoller Seitz of The New York Times wrote: "Hard to watch but essential to see, Descent is at once realistic and rhetorical, and driven throughout by righteous anger that comes from an honest place."