With periodic flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Exposed, in terms of its narrative structure at least, is a bit more complicated than your average sexploitation picture. While on the surface Lena is a typical, if flawed, central character the film lets us get into her head enough that even if we don’t completely see her as an innocent, we can at least feel for her. Her plight with Helge and his blackmailing ways is a sticky situation to be sure and while his coercion into the world of kinky sex allows for many titillating sequences, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lena. That said, she uses her sexuality to put herself in rather precarious situations and at times you almost wonder if she subconsciously wants the dysfunction that seems to follow her around. Consider this alongside the way that she’s treated by most of the men in the film, whose eyes linger on her quite voraciously, and you’re left trying to figure out how much of her dire situation she’s put herself in, rather than found herself in.
In terms of the acting, Lindberg is really quite good here. Her natural doe-eyed innocent looks really lends itself perfectly to the role and she mixes this with her smoldering sexuality to make for a memorable performance, one in which she often looks comfortably numb. While she’s naked as often as she’s clothed (and that is something that can easily distract fans of the female form from her acting ability) she really is unnervingly effective in the role. Equally impressive, at least in terms of acting ability if not on a physical level, if Heinz Hopf’s deliciously sleazy turn at Helge. Bjorn Adelly is perfectly fine as Jan, but it’s Hopf as Helge who really stands out in the male cast, as he really epitomizes the typical sleazy male predator.
Teetering on the edge of ‘art film’ territory at times, the picture does a good job of making us think, particularly in terms of what’s happened in the real world versus what’s happened in Lena’s fantasy world. The set design sometimes reflects these differences and possibly offers some clues in that regard – you’ll notice that the picture varies between nice, out door shots and barely decorated and often bleak interiors. The cinematography and score accentuate these differences at times, making Exposed a film of legitimate artistic merit. As trashy and sordid as it at times can be, it’s quite a well made picture and one that proves Lindberg really was much more than just another pretty face.
– Original language audio with SUB/IDX English subtitles;
– ‘Over-Exposed’: Interview with Gustav Wiklund and Christina Lindbergh (20 minutes), hard-subbed in English;
– Two songs by Christina Lindbergh, in the original VOB format from the DVD.