Watching the 2008 BBC/HBO scientific-political drama ‘Einstein and Eddington’ and Penelope Cruz’s 2013 lingerie commercial ‘L’Agent’ within five minutes of each other turned out to be more captivating than I had anticipated.
First came ‘L’Agent’, the fulfilling feast of the female form, which is Cruz’s directorial debut . For those of you who may not keep track of such things, Penelope and her sister Monica along with Agent Provocateur produce a luxury lingerie line called ‘L’Agent’. This particular commercial, which I have generously shared here, does everything to live up to the label’s name Agent Provocateur.
This glorious piece of voyeurism does have a touch of creepiness, but because it has been made by a woman, namely Penelope Cruz, we are supposed to see humor in it. While the six-minute long commercial is populated with carefully chosen models, the main attraction is the Russian model Irina Shayk. There is also the Spanish actor Miguel Angel and the always watchable Javier Bardem, who also happens to be Penelope’s husband. Both men play construction workers and Shayk is featured for obvious charms in a case of lazy stereotyping. Not that I am complaining because really what is there to complain about Irina Shayk?
Irina Shayk in ‘L’Agent’, Agent Provocateur commercial
With Shayk having shaken me out of my torpor I began watching ‘Einstein and Eddington’, which captures a unique collaboration between a truly great mind (Einstein) and an interpreter (Eddington) of that truly great mind. I am presuming that by the time you reach this point in my post, you would have watched the lingerie commercial at least once and hence would have no attention span left for the more profound ideas about the universe.
I went into the film thinking about what Albert Einstein’s had said about time. “Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it,” he had said. That remains perhaps my most favorite intuitive cerebral leap in human history. Speaking of time having no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it, time seems to come to a grinding halt at Irina Shayk. She bends the world around her quite like light bends as a result of gravitational lensing. I exaggerate, of course, because I don’t think gravity can look as sensational in ‘L’Agent’ lingerie as Shayk.
I can feel the strain of my efforts to synthesize two disparate visual experiences between the lingerie commercial and the movie. I guess what I am trying to say is that beauty has a way of slowing down and bending time quite like gravity. (That’s my contribution to science). I doubt if Einstein would have ever associated his theory with a lingerie model. However, I am sure he would have approved once he saw Shayk.
Einstein also said that time is not shared, that it is not absolute. It can be different in different places. For instance, when you watch this commercial you are on a different timescale.
At some level physical beauty is a result all the right energies fusing together under just the right amount of gravitational sculpting. That sounds clever but does not mean anything. It seems that Shayk has left me disoriented even more than the profundity of Einstein’s ideas.