In the dressing room, a stripper (Camilla, for brevity) applies red lipstick on lips. She says the second stripper, Sofia (again, for brevity) that she knows what’s Isabella is truly like. While applying blush, Sofia asks her what the rant is about. Continuing her rant, the Camilla says she has noticed the looks between Isabella and the house band singer, Bruno Mars. She comes in for her shift, just after having sex with him. She mocks Isabella, saying that Isabella probably thinks its true love. Sofia says Mars isn’t the type to settle, which is something Camilla has tried to do in the past. Camilla sips her drink and puts it against face, saying Isabella isn’t any competition and she better watch her back. She plans on telling their boss about the affair with Mars.
Their boss (Luis Guzman) puts his head through the beaded curtain and calls for Isabella. Camilla and Sofia turn around in their chairs. Isabella (Freida Pinto) takes a drag from her cigarette and makes a kissing noise to the girls. Camilla avoids Isabella’s gaze. Isabella drops her cigarette in Camilla’s drink and goes on stage. After she leaves, Camilla lifts her gaze and says the girl is trash.
The boss taps on the microphone and introduces Isabella to the La Jungla patrons. Isabella strides through the beaded curtain. Mars and Isabella exchange intense looks until she reaches the pole. As Mars sings, she swings on the pole. By the chorus, she walks to the end of the stage and tears off her jacket. The lights above spark, falling like snow onto the stage and into the crowd. Men throw their money at her.
With her eyes closed, she thinks of having sex with Mars in the backseat of his car earlier. She keeps her eyes on Mars while she gives another man a lap dance. Holding her gaze, she returns to the stage and walks up to Mars. She bends down and licks his guitar, which is by his crotch. Then, she still looking at Mars, she takes his guitar, pours liquor on it and lights it on fire. She watches the fire burn.
The sprinklers go off. Drenched, she and Mars still hold their gaze and then she walks out the door. Mars chases after her, turning into a gorilla. She waits for him in the backseat of his car.
Frieda Pinto and Bruno Mars have insane chemistry between them, generating sexual heat like its oxygen. She has an aura of confidence and power to her, setting her apart from Camilla and Sofia. Somehow, it seems as though Mars has met his match and this time, he may be the one getting his heart broken.
Director: Cameron Duddy Year: 2013
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