(Japanese with English subtitles) After meeting a handsome truck driver (Nao Omori) in the midst of an urban mini-mart, a 30-something freelance writer (Shinobu Terajima) embarks on a ... See full summary »
(Japanese with English subtitles) After meeting a handsome truck driver (Nao Omori) in the midst of an urban mini-mart, a 30-something freelance writer (Shinobu Terajima) embarks on a life-changing emotional journey of sexual self-discovery. Ryuichi Hiroki (I Am an S&M Writer, Tokyo Trash Baby) directs this critically acclaimed road movie based on the novel by Mari Akasaka. Written by
Some would-be viewers will avoid "Vibrator" simply because of the title; others will view it for that very reason. Either way, that could be a mistake. Don't get me wrong: There's some sex and passion here, but VIBRATOR's definitely NOT a "nasty film" per se. It's more a dual character study of two very different people who meet by accident and what they gain by doing so. Shinobu Terashima convincingly plays Rei, an introverted, hard-drinking, and reclusive writer who meets Takatoshi, a free-spirited, hard-edged, yet compassionate truck driver equally well-played by Nao Omori, and on a whim decides to ride with him on his rounds across the main Japanese island of Honshu. It's a quiet, subdued movie, and its wintertime scenery is bleakly beautiful.
It's hard to review this film without making it sound dull and/or depressing, but I found it to be neither. Although it's funny in places, "Vibrator"'s overall mood is simultaneously sad and uplifting. People who want lots of tension and dramatic action may be disappointed here: There's no violence, surprising reversals, or any of that kind of stuff. "Vibrator" remains, however, one of the most convincing and gripping slice-of-life pieces I have ever seen. There is something very genuine about the way it shows Rei getting out of herself in a much-needed way for just a little while. I sincerely wish that there were more films like "Vibrator."
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