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Kiyoshi is a brooding young man who treats women solely as objects. Makoto is a young woman who is just reaching her sexual awakening. She and her friends accept car rides from middle aged men, although they state it is nothing more than fun with no intention of leading those men on. Kiyoshi and Makoto meet when he saves her from one of those middle aged men who tries to take advantage of her. Despite treating each other abusively, they start a relationship with each other which leads to what they call love, but feels more like an emotional dependence on each other to rebel against traditional society. Each with no money, they start to extort money from these middle aged men who she leads on. This act is only one demonstration of the only power they feel they have, namely sex, which they use against others as well as against each other in their doomed relationship. Written by
Not the best film for it's time; I've not seen anything else from this director, so I can't comment on that aspect of the film....
I had to remind myself several times while watching that this film is almost fifty years old. Elements of the story remind of today, especially the "scams" and the gritty aspect of teenage relationships and sexuality; at the same time I could never suspend my disbelief over the age of the actors -- they in no way resembled a high school girl or a college boy. The editing is a mess; I'm guessing that the director was attempting something artistic. The story, however, is very good. (Unfortunately the translation I watched mistranslated several scenes and so took the punch out from the delivery.)
I could recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see some of the grime of post-war Japan. But if you watch this film leave your modern sensibilities at home: Joan Collins said that she was rapped by the man that later became her husband and that seemingly topsy turvy attitude about sex and relationships is a large part of this film: the definitions were different, sex was novel on the big screen and peoples perspectives were not the same as today and I see no point in complaining about the gaps; I feel it's better to acknowledge them, think about how they might have been viewed and then look past them to the story the director was trying to tell.
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