Ai, a timid Japanese college girl, tries to make ends meet as a S&M bondage girl-for-hire within a world of wealthy businessmen and lavish Tokyo penthouses. Her quest for true love and happiness contrasts with the dark nighttime in Tokyo, ridden with perverse sex and drugs. Written and directed by Ryû Murakami, author of AUDITION.
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As a bystander, I wanted to know . . . lots of things. Now I wish I didn't know. I could not remain a bystander, her pain was my pain. How could she remain innocent in her trade, but she does. How could she not be destroyed by her experiences, but apparently is not. Highest praise to the actress and the entire production crew for a really fine film about the sadness of who we have become.
This is one nervy movie, but it is quite amazing when you reflect on what you've just been through. Submission, sublimation, sado-masochisim, power, and madness have been dealt with in films like Maîtresse by Barbet Schroeder, Bunuel's Belle de Jour, The Night Porter with Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, Pasolini's Salo, Realm of the Senses, even Eyes Wide Shut, and many others. Each has varying degrees of humor and horror, eroticism and discomfort, realism and stylized madness.This takes these polarities to extremes, even to the point where it can be difficult to watch. The director wrote the novel for Takashi Miike's Audition, so that is telling. It veers insanely from comic to erotic, and the erotic will depend on your taste and capacity for gazing on these things. The acting is awfully brave. Ryû Murakami has added a unique work of art to films on the metaphysics and sociology of sexuality.
Once I started this film, I actually remember I saw it as a teenager when it came out. (They had a VHS copy at a small town video store.) I didn't remember the plot so much as certain scenes. This is how this film plays: small on plot, large on sex acts that might leave those without a wide open view on sex a little offended because it is deviant enough to satisfy the taste of those with odd tastes. The plot itself is very thin and little shoddy, but sometimes watching a movie like this isn't for the plot.
well i didnt know what to think except maybe thiss was porn hiding behind what could have been a good film. i felt so sorry for the passive and nice lady caught up in a world she doesnt know enough to avoid just to survive.
The name speaks for itself. This film has enough shameless filth in it to make the most decadent among us experience tingly titilating bursts of joy!