Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Written, directed, co-produced and narrated by Elena Semikina, crowned Miss Universe Canada in 2010, BEHIND THE DRESS is an all-access, behind the scenes Documentary about 65 women from all walks of life competing to win the Miss Universe Canada 2012 title. The Film appropriately opens with Habanera, one of the most famous Arias from the Opera Carmen, where the lyrics include the line “Love is a rebellious bird that no one can tame” as we quickly learn that many of the contestants ARE rebellious. They rebel against the perceived notion that they are vacuous bimbos relying on their beauty to get ahead in life. Many of these ridiculously-beautiful Women have entered the competition to shed information and light on many humanitarian causes near and dear to them – whether it be cancer awareness, medical aid to India or Nicaragua, or orphanages around the world. Fortuitously for Semikina, the 2012 Pageant also garnered worldwide attention when it was discovered that one of its contestants, Jenna Talackova, was a transgendered Woman-turned-Reality TV Star.
BEHIND THE DRESS is a lot of fun to watch as we see these ladies get to know each other, struggle with the choreography for the big show and learn how to walk seductively in heels while wearing a butt-cheek exposing white bikini and a diaphanous chiffon cape! More importantly, this is a Documentary about empowerment. These are smart Women, passionate about a wide array of topics. Semikina wisely chose not to solely focus on the Jenna Talackova controversy, though a good quarter of the Movie’s running time is devoted to this subject.
Sadly, the one choice that the talented Semikina made almost ruined the Movie for me. It is the ending…we NEVER find out who actually WON the 2012 Miss Universe Canada crown after all that build-up!
Learn more here about BEHIND THE DRESS.
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