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The darkness of Catherine Tramell in 'Basic Instinct 2'

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Basic Instinct 2

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In the wake of a devastating tragedy, Dr. Michael Glass must traverse a fine line between his quest to uncover the truth and his obsession with Catherine Tramell, a malevolent and beautiful villainess who uses the deadly fantasies she weaves into her novels as her inspiration for murder.

While her character is still one of being a master at manipulation and control, there is a certain fragility in her psyche that was not present in the first film. She is forced to acknowledge that her addiction to power – the essence of what defines Catherine and gives her life purpose - could also be her Achilles heel. This weakness would force her to relinquish control and ultimately lead to her being overcome by the darkness that she has lived in for so long.

Catherine’s attraction to Dr. Glass is two-fold. In one sense, she recognizes that they are kindred spirits because they are both masters of control. She sees him as the ultimate prize because he challenges her desire to be in control. She also sees the same darkness in him that drives her and uses that advantage to manipulate him and make him hers.

The irony of Dr. Michael Glass’s character is that while he demands absolute control from himself, his patients, and his environment, his resolve begins to disintegrate when he is in the presence of Catherine Tramell. He attempts to maintain his power over her by subjugating her with his rules and influence, but as he is drawn deeper into her web of dark and seductive manipulation, his attraction to her is transformed into a powerful addiction.

That addiction penetrates his mask of authority and causes him to relinquish his power to Catherine subconsciously allowing his actions to be controlled by her. He is torn between his unwavering desire to learn the truth and his inner struggle to protect Catherine from being identified as a malevolent killer. In the end, his desire for Catherine is what ultimately destroys him.

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