Ralph Styles Ultra is the most elegant brand of cigarettes if such a thing can exist. The commercial selling this high-end product likens them to lighters made of gold, or specially commissioned diamond necklaces crafted by Luca Pistachio (Josh Burdett). It is Luca himself narrating, proclaiming that you should make the night not just extraordinary but ultra, after gifting his significant other Anna (Jamie Fischer) with that very same diamond necklace.
And this is where most commercials would come to an end. They’ve successfully shown off the product and a lifestyle aspiration associated with it. But, the camera stays with the couple. Luca notices a lady sitting at the bar alone and decides that Anna and he should invite her over and seduce her. So, Anna goes over to Davina (Lily Cooper) and gives the same rote speech Luca gives at the start. Davina takes a drag of the cigarette and joins the duo at their table.
“…notices a lady sitting at the bar alone and decides that Anna and he should invite her over and seduce her.”
It would be remarkably unfair to writer-director Nic fforde, and co-writer Giulia Watson, to give anything more away. But, every time one thinks Ralph Styles Ultra is about to wrap up its commercial, it keeps going, to very unexpected and thought-provoking places. See, in approximately 15-minutes fforde and Watson break down the power men of wealth and means hold over others, women specifically.
Luca convinces Anna to seduce Davina, not because she wants to, but because he does. Why is that? He spied a man at the table across from him, laughing it up and leaving with two women, so he grew petty and jealous. Anna, accustomed to a particular lifestyle, and more disastrously, to Luca’s harsh demands, acquiesces to him. Is it disgusting that Luca holds this much power? Without a doubt. But, the comeuppance awaiting him when the tables get flipped is oh, so satisfying.
"…Even in this artifice, made to sell a better life...there is no escaping the vile deeds of men..."