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Raymond Bak-Ming Wong,
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Although I have heard about this movie and read the original book, I never get a chance to watch the complete one till this afternoon I rent the DVD.
It is really beautiful, every moment, every performance, every scene, natural and artistic, yet so moving and striking to me that I really can not breathe in the end. There is something deep in your soul, which you may never experience in your life. But when it comes to you and you realize that, you jump at it, no matter what consumes, your job, family, even your life.
The most amazing part of this movie is that, when I watch it, I know it is a very strong and passionate one (I have read the original book and I adore it), but every step it takes happens so natural and real that you feel it is just the fate and inevitable. It is not just a romantic story about forbidden love, there is something deeper and more serious inside, where is the real life and love in this modern, developed society? I have long felt there is a aesthetic yet self-destructive tendency in many Japanese novels and movies, just like and blossom of cherry flowers. This one provide another sample.
As usual Koji Yakusho, my favorite current male Japanese actor delivers a very convincing performance. This is my first time to see Hitomi Kuroki. She plays exactly the character in the book, sometimes even better and far beyond it. I do not know how to describe her beauty and acting, it is too perfect, I really love her in this movie. If I were Sholchiro Kuki, I would do everything to make her a happy and complete life.
I guess this movie is not the cup of tea for everyone. First of all, the story itself may be controversial in some sense, going against the conventional moral values. Second, there are quiet a lot sizzling sex scenes. I have to admit, some of them are very arousing and erotic, but they are naturally beautiful with no pretense. To this point,the only comparable movies I can remember are: Damage, The lover, and Unfaithful.
By the way I also would like to recommend the original book with the same title by the renowned Japanese writer Junichi Watanabe. In my eyes, he is the counterpart of D.H.Lawrence in Asia in that both can write sex in such a real and beautiful way.
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