Gérard Depardieu as Olivier enters an apartment in order to rob the place, but unknowingly breaks into a haven for sadomasochistic fantasies. During the burglary he encounters Ariane (Bulle Ogier) who he had met earlier, but this time she is a dominatrix who controls situations as she dives into other people's madness. Ariane is an interesting character that separates her life and her profession as skillfully as do her slaves who consist of lawyers, judges, and other high ranked individuals who seek punishment from her. Her cruel punishment is well molded after her "slave's" desires which consists of all forms of torture and degradation. Olivier is spellbound by Ariane as he falls in love with her, and it leads him into a scorching affair where he is bound to be burnt as he is mystified by Ariane's dark trade. Schroeder's creation of Ariane's dual nature can be seen through her use of a downstairs apartment for her dark fantasies and her upstairs apartment for more accepted desires. In addition, it can also be observed symbolically that the two sides coexists and never are entirely separated as Ariane brings her make-up, clothes, and feelings back upstairs. Maîtresse is an avant-garde film as it explores in-depth the theme of sadomasochistic fantasies and its sub-culture as set in a love story. As a cinematic experience, Maîtresse offers a shocking, for the unaware, experience that tells an intriguing story which imprisons the curiosity.