2007   Japan M
M Image Cover
Additional Images
Director:Ryuichi Hiroki
Studio:Basara Pictures
Writer:Seishu Hase, Hisashi Saito
IMDb Rating:6.5 (66 votes)
Genre:Drama
Duration:110 min
Languages:Japanese
IMDb:1098217
Search:NetflixYouTube
Ryuichi Hiroki  ...  (Director)
Seishu Hase, Hisashi Saito  ...  (Writer)
 
Miwon  ...  Satoko Ogawa
Kengo Kôra  ...  Minoru
Nao Ohmori  ...  Hideyuki Ogawa
Seishu Hase  ...  
Hiroyuki Hirayama  ...  
Hôka Kinoshita  ...  
Nasubi  ...  
Miho Ninagawa  ...  
Erika Okuda  ...  
Kiyohiko Shibukawa  ...  
Tomorowo Taguchi  ...  
Masahiro Toda  ...  
Hiroshi Ôguchi  ...  
Yûsuke Oya  ...  Composer
Kazuhiro Suzuki  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: A whole lot of twisted psycho-sexual drama going on here. A young woman has this made up story in her head about when she was a kid and her neighbor's father shagged her mom inducing her to start dating the boy next door as an excuse to be close to the father, but when the boy finds out the truth of her motivation he kills his mom and dad and she feels complicit. To atone for this Freudian guilt over something that didn't happen she takes on a Yakuza pimp, in that fucked up way that people do, to mistreat and abuse her, in that fucked up way that people do. We are given the possibility that all of these things are just fantasies of the young woman's impotent but well-meaning husband, but so what? What if? Doesn't change much of the experience for the viewer.

Meanwhile, a young man who really did kill his own father, and participated in a gang rape of his mother, wants to save the young woman from the Yakuza pimp so a bunch of drama takes place amongst the three of them. The whole thing comes off less like an exploration of psycho-sexual weirdness or repressed and imagined memories, and more like a director's fantasy of seeing how far he can go in abusing a young actress. Kinda creepy, imo.

Single-name actress Miwon, undoubtedly a pseudonym, is quite fetching as the protagonist, exuding a screen presence that's both strong and vulnerable. This is her only screen credit so I'll wonder out loud if she has acted, or is acting, under a different name, or if the experience of making this film put a great big damper on any hopes she had of making it a career.

Director Ryuichi Hiroki's extensive filmography is all over the place. From soft-core pink films to highly regarded film festival winners like Vibrator and It's Only Talk to innocent young love stories like April Bride and the Love on Sunday films. He's pretty good at what he does but I think he goes a little far here in heaping on the abuse without enough consideration of real reasons for why it's happening.

★★★

Summary: Satoko is a housewife who lives a comfortable life with her businessman husband Hideyuki and her six-year-old son Masato. One day on her way to pick up Masato, she meets Minoru - a newspaper delivery boy who happens to be playing catch with Masato. At first glance Minoru seems to be a serious, hard-working young man. But she learns that when he was twelve he stabbed and killed his father, who was beating up his mother. He had done this to protect his mother, but instead she abandoned her son and disappeared. Minoru sees a little of his mother in Satoko, and starts to follow her around. As he does, he discovers that Satoko is being threatened by the yakuza Tawara. Soon Satoko's husband Hideyuki senses something wrong as his wife begins to change, and comes up with some wild ideas. As passion and love envelop them, Minoru tries to save Satoko. Satoko wishes to escape, but fear keeps her from doing so. What each person feels... is it reality or just an illusion?


Search: AmazonMRQERoviAsianmediawikiHanCinemaWikipediaMetacritic