We meet Makota Hirano as he ambles into sleepy, small-town Japan with no apparent aim or aspiration. A fleeting encounter with a young lady, called Nami, at a train station leads him to follow her to the Estate Agents, where she works. The shy, young asthmatic asks for a job from her husband, who owns the business, his motivation obviously not being that he wants to get closer to the world of real estate; no it is something else he is desperate to get nearer to. Before long we realise that Makota is not as shy as he may at first appear and Nami is caught between the pull of the unpredictable younger drifter and the security of her older and richer husband. Original Sin, and I have no idea why it is called that, is a beautifully crafted film from the point of view of the editing and camera work. There are several scenes where the camera placement gives us an excellent and unusual view on proceedings. Takashi Ishii is also not afraid just to let it roll and the scenes often unfurl uncut at their own leisurely pace. The soundtrack is understated but supportive and the acting is of a high standard all round. The unusualness and intensity of some of the characters actions did baffle my Western mind at times, but a general feeling of top-quality film-making pervades throughout and it is well worth a watch if you appreciate the finer-points of Japanese Cinema.
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