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Helter Skelter (2012)
"Herutâ sukerutâ" (original title)

 |  Drama, Horror  |  14 July 2012 (Japan)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 855 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 16 critic

Top star Ririko undergoes multiple cosmetic surgeries to her entire body. As her surgeries show side effect, Ririko makes the lives of those around her miserable as she tries to deal with her career and her personal problems.

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Title: Helter Skelter (2012)

Helter Skelter (2012) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kiko Mizuhara ...
Kozue Yoshikawa
...
Hiroko tada
Anne Suzuki
...
Hisako waku
Nao Ômori ...
Makoto asada
Erika Sawajiri ...
Lilico
Yôsuke Kubozuka ...
Takao nanbu
Gô Ayano
Susumu Terajima
Shô Aikawa
Yumiko Hara
Shinobu Terajima ...
Michiru
Hirofumi Arai
May Pakdee
Megumi
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Storyline

Top star Ririko undergoes multiple cosmetic surgeries to her entire body. As her surgeries show side effect, Ririko makes the lives of those around her miserable as she tries to deal with her career and her personal problems.

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lesbian | two word title | See All (2) »

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Drama | Horror

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Release Date:

14 July 2012 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Helter Skelter  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Breakfast at Tiffany's for the 21st century
22 February 2015 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

Erika Sawajiri is outstanding as flavor-of-the-moment model/actress Lillico, a diva held together by plastic surgery, who exorcises her own demons in predatory sado-sexual displays of domination on her minder (Shinobu Terajima in perfect counter-point). Lillico is self-aware, stating that she can't really act, and she's not a great singer. All she has is her looks, bought at great price, though the exact cost will only slowly reveal itself.

Japan's facile celebrity culture and the amoral voracity of its media are excoriated here. The social commentary scorches due to Sawajiri's unflinching efforts in making Lillico all too human. The casting is both professional and sly, as there is more than a little overlap between Lillico and the 'betsu ni' iteration of Sawajiri's own media persona.

Director Mika Ninagawa is best known for still photography, and it is this background that lets the film down. Too often we are offered a montage, beautifully shot, of angst ridden Lillico, rolling in the rain, hallucinating about butterflies and falling feathers (too obviously borrowed from American Beauty), or gazing as the camera slides poetically past her at the human carnage she has unleashed. Lovely photography, but at the cost of slowing the narrative to a standstill.

Lillico evokes Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, a country girl living a dream on borrowed time and shutting out the tawdriness that engulfs her. Instead of an older husband, it is a younger sibling who arrives from the past to burst the bubble.

The plot involves ugly profiteering at a medical clinic and the arm of the law closing in, though the police procedural scenes function only to offer up expository commentary that jars. The prosecutors talk and are lit more like Greek gods pitying mortals than civil servants trying to put a shift in.

Kaori Momoi as the shiftless boss does what she does best, that undefinable unsettling quirkiness perfectly suited to this role. Kiko Mizuhara also shows depth as the new idol who displaces Lillico from her perch, but turns out to be every bit as self-aware and jaded as her predecessor.

The way the film turns the microscope on fetishized beauty and celebrity is its strength, and with brisker pacing and tighter editing this could have been outstanding. Those flaws are a pity, given the magnetic power of Sawajiri.


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