Led by Peggy (Lexie Mountain) a mystical female founder, a cult masquerading as a wellness startup settles in the Catskills to build community and practice a ritual called ‘Jilling Off’. They believe that by prioritizing female pleasure they will heal Mother Earth. The group faces prejudice and bureaucracy from the local townspeople, and begin to question their own motives as they strive to manifest utopia.
To Peggy, the ills of the world can be healed through the energy of the female orgasm. She constantly reminds the group of the power of the vagina and it pushes her agenda of it being the most powerful tool society has even seen. Her thinking no matter how extreme does preach some positivity and spiritual wellness for women.
The men in the group are duty bound to deprive themselves of pleasure and only focused on satisfying the women. They are not even allowed to think about it let alone want it. A few of them who might not be happy about dare not speak up about it to Peggy or any of the other women. With time, a lot more them begin to realize that the rules are not in their interest at all and that they too deserve some sexual satisfaction. The friction is builds and is likely to affect the rank and file of the cult.
The cult’s philosophy might be simple but its complex in many ways that might upset society rather than change it. But isn’t that how change is supposed to start, through defiance and disruption? Peggy’s cult and its ideas is as disruptive as can be.
One person in the group is focused on making a documentary film about the cult’s actions and progressiveness. But with his limited experience it proves more challenging than he imagines. But that’s not the group’s only problem. Peggy seems to be mismanaging their finances and keeping it all a secret. She is later exposed as the group makes a trip to a health and wellness Expo at the Niagara Falls with hopes of finding venture capital and investors to help push their agenda.
The characters do not provide any connection for the audience to fully appreciate or understand their situation and experience. Besides the somewhat bland performances the characters themselves do not have any depth beyond what you see initially. And they do not provide any comic relief either as you would expect from a film like this.
As a satire, the film is supposed to provide some humor at least. But it fails heavily in that regard. There aren’t that many scenes or dialogue that manages to force a laugh out of the audience. If anything at all, it is just funny how quirky this film feels. You find yourself laughing at it premise rather than its promise and substance. And perhaps the cults rules and ideologies but not the antics or actions of any of the characters.
There is also some conflict between the cult and the town folk who are not in anyways amused by their hippy ways of life. They clash at the least chance they get and try to get them kicked out of the community on either health, permits or living codes violations.
If ‘Adventures of Success’ had a specific message it wanted to drive home it either missed it or I did. By its end you are left wondering what exactly this is all about. And after subsequent viewings also, nothing much changes. There isn’t a clear enough story arc that gets you to sit up at the edge of your seat at any point. It keeps the same flat progression right through to the end whilst failing to take you on a journey of enlightenment or clarity on the ideas it preaches.
I would score ‘Adventure of Success’ 5/10. It has a unique premise and attempts to make gold out of a quirky idea but it just doesn’t succeed enough to make it memorable or worth your while by its end.
For many, this might be a film that would be difficult to attempt to watch or even re-watch but regardless it is worth the shot.