5.8/10
149
3 user 4 critic

The Perfect Education (1999)

Kanzen-naru shiiku (original title)
Schoolgirl Kuniko is kidnapped by a middle-aged man Iwazono when she is jogging. He tells her that he had a failed marriage which leaves him a deep and everlasting scar in his mind. He ... See full summary »

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Iwazono
Hijiri Kojima ...
Kuniko
...
Tsuda
Asami Sawaki ...
Midori
...
Moriyama
Katsuski Mizushima
Mitsuko Ishii
Shigeru Izumiya ...
Kawamata
Eri Watanabe ...
Sakiko (as Eriko Watanabe)
Guts Ishimatsu ...
Detective Omira
Tadashi Arifuku
Katsumi Matsumara
Shunji Miyagawa
Kenji Miwa
Yûta Sone ...
(as Hideki Sone)
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Storyline

Schoolgirl Kuniko is kidnapped by a middle-aged man Iwazono when she is jogging. He tells her that he had a failed marriage which leaves him a deep and everlasting scar in his mind. He kidnaps her in search of a perfect marriage and intends to lock her in the room and 'educate' her to perform perfect sex where body and soul are united. With the strong sense of fear and humiliation at the beginning, Kuniko gradually accepts Iwazono who treats her with total respect (except that she is still his prisoner). The distance between the two shortens and their relationship becomes more like that of lovers in spite of the large age difference between them... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

30 January 1999 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Perfect Education  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Kanzen-naru shiiku: Akai satsui (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
male rape fantasy masquerading as character study
22 February 2015 | by (downtown, Michigan) – See all my reviews

After recently seeing this movie, I felt I must add some comments, especially after noticing it had garnered a 6.1 overall rating, with two viewers giving respective ratings of 7 and 9 out of 10. I also noted the film had won two awards, according to IMDb, at a film festival, somewhere, in 2000.

I found all of this disconcerting because—in agreement with the critic view on this site from Beyond Hollywood—this is simply an old man's perverse fantasy dressed up as character study. I would hope that no one would take this drivel seriously. A middle- aged man, depressed and alone, decides to kidnap an 18 year old girl with the purpose of "training her for perfect love". He grabs the young woman while she's jogging, drugs her and takes her to his one- room apartment and ties her up. In effect, what he wants is a sex- toy not a real relationship with a live person.

The incredulous aspect of the story is that the young woman, after being bound and gagged for several weeks, seems all too easygoing about the whole incident. She quickly gets over her initial outrage. She is bereft of any sentiment or regard for her family, and eventually seems to begin to accept her situation, even developing an attraction to her kidnapper. Yes, they start having sex, adding to the prurient appeal of the story, but somehow the whole thing seems preposterous.

There are too many problems with the movie's characters to fully convince the viewer of the outcome. There is a clear effort in the story to paint a sympathetic portrait of the perpetrator. And, much as in some of the rape-fantasies of Japanese cinema from the 70's and 80's, the man's masculine power causes the victim to submit and even enjoy the rape. Here, there is no precise rape, but the same idea prevails: women who are sufficiently cowed or subdued submit to the will of the male and enjoy it.

To cut to the chase, as this sort of misogynistic trash doesn't really deserve a longer critique: the older man is successful. Even after he is caught and arrested, the young woman defends him so that his sentence is reduced to a few years, maybe less, in prison. She has fallen in love with her abductor and seems happy to talk about their "great sex". I wonder how friends and family of other young women—particularly those of the infamous Castro incident in Cleveland in 2012—who experienced the real-world horror of abduction for sex would feel about this story. I thought the misogyny of Japanese movies had ended some decades ago, but since this film is apparently one in a series of similar stories that continued into at least 2010, apparently I was mistaken.


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