This is about as far away from a movie like Branded to Kill as you can get. Free of studio constraints Suzuki was finally able to make a truly personal film. The problem is that it's about an hour too long. This is a very slow-paced film, almost excruciatingly and unnecessarily so. There are moments of chilling beauty and some absolutely striking images, and eerie sound design, but then there's a lot of filler material. Given that there were so many moments of brilliance, I just wanted there to be more. Hopefully, the next two installments in the Taisho Trilogy are more well-constructed.
While trademark expressionism is subdued (by his age, budgetary constraints and fully aged protagonists) Suzuki feels as though he is finally able to take his time to delve into more complicated allegory and analysis behind the voids and disconnects we create through unrequited desires. What starts as sensual tale of triangular love, ends in ghostly and reflective memory-scape, confirming adult coming-of-age themes.
A mysterious, ethereal drama concerning the relationships between and forces within four people; intermittently distorted, like watching someone walk behind a pane of imperfect glass, the form itself intact and then suddenly twisted and obscured, then back again. We're not sure what actually happened, what is dreamed, and what is misremembered.