- 1h 44min
Hiroko is a young, alienated woman "in love" with a blow-up male torso. Tension rises when her sister discovers her secret desire.Hiroko is a young, alienated woman "in love" with a blow-up male torso. Tension rises when her sister discovers her secret desire.Hiroko is a young, alienated woman "in love" with a blow-up male torso. Tension rises when her sister discovers her secret desire.
More than anything else, this is primarily a character study about a woman who is no longer interested in interacting with other people. The movie stars Makiko Watanabe as Hiroko; she goes through her daily routine saying only what she needs to get her though her office workday. She then returns home each evening to be together with her blowup male torso doll.
Hiroko's doll is anatomically correct, and she does indeed have sex with it, but it means so much more to her than just serving as a simple sex toy. The doll has replaced everyone in her life and is now essentially her entire solace and sole companionship. It is both her lover and her friend, and she cares for it greatly. She enjoys spending so much time with it, that she makes excuses to avoid her family and going out with her girlfriends.
It's interesting to see what lengths Hiroko goes to in order to care for the doll as she lovingly washes it and carefully deflates it to store away. In one of the more interesting scenes that illustrates her obsession with this doll, she takes it on vacation to an isolated beach where she spends the afternoon swimming with it, burying in the stand, etc... She treats it as if it were a real person that she's in a real relationship with.
Hiroko is quite content to carry out her life alone with her doll. Her younger sister disrupts her routine though, when she leaves her abusive boyfriend and needs to stay at Hiroko's place. The two of them have an unusual bond and history together, and Hiroko doesn't seem to like her sister very much, but that's not really the case. They discuss their lives a bit while they are staying together, but they mostly just go through their daily lives, as you (the viewer) watch them do so.
Makiko Watanabe gives a superb showing as the distant young woman in love with her blow up doll. Sakura Ando is equally impressive as her younger sister. These are both terrific actresses, and this movie would not have worked at all without the nuanced performances they turn in.
This is not vulgar film by any means. What minimal "sex" scenes there are, all take place under the covers. There is some nudity, but not an excessive amount. If you're looking for some type of erotic display, look elsewhere; this is not really that type of movie...although, I guess having Sora Aoi take her clothes off was pretty unnecessary to the plot, and was purely for erotic purpose, but oh well.
If you're not accustomed to this style of film making, you might not like this movie very much. I can see how many people with think it's just boring and doesn't go anywhere. It's a slow and subtle drama with very little humor and not much going on really, but it is often fascinating to watch if you enjoy this particular sort of thing. I liked it plenty, and thought it was well done.
Bottom Line: This movie is quite good, but, it's certainly not for everybody. It's a simple character study type story along the lines of Café Lumiere, Kamome Diner, One Million Yen Girl, etc...If you liked any of those films, you might like this one too.
8 out of 10 stars!
- Dec 2, 2012