Plenty have people have talked about how this film is badly made, and Madonna is about the worst actress ever to burn up celluloid, and Guy Richie couldn't direct a cast of actors to the nearest post-office. All of which is basically true. Moreover, the film looks awful, with preposterously saturated colours, clumsy composition, banal locations and ridiculous costumes.
But the worst thing about Swept Away isn't any of these things. The worst thing by a long way is the philosophy behind it. I went to see Swept Away because I thought it might be a 'so bad it's good' film: that, even if it was terrible, it might be kind of funny. How wrong I was. Here's the plot, in a nutshell: Madonna plays a nasty, rich woman, and the entire film is a long process of watching a man humiliate her, beat her and even rape her. At the end, she emerges a 'better' woman for all the abuse she has suffered, and is grateful to her rapist. Just to remind you: this is supposed to be a comedy. Ha ha ha! Because raping and beating women is just so darn funny!
It's not funny, it's horrible. It doesn't matter how spoilt and nasty Madonna's character is. Seeing a woman undergo violence and abuse - and 'enjoying' it - is vile and would only appeal to a twisted mind.
The film honestly left me feeling sick to the stomach. I dread to think what this film says about Richie's relationship with Madonna, but one thing is certain: he hates women. If you remade Swept Away as a 'hilarious' comedy in which a black person was beaten and punished by a white person until he/she started to love being a slave, and was pathetically grateful to his/her white oppressor, it would be banned. And rightly so.
This is a sick, nasty film. If you haven't seen it, I really recommend that you don't.