Ryu is a fragile looking loner who lives a double life: she works in a fish factory and ocassionally as a hired assassin. A sound engineer, obsessed by the sounds of the city and fascinated by Ryu, is the mute witness to a love-story that begins between Ryu and a man she is hired to kill.
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Beautiful cinematography, great sexual chemistry between Rinko Kikuchi and Sergi López... I found it interesting how Coixet really took a gamble on making the sex scenes noticeably long and graphic almost a la 'Last Tango in Paris'... The composition is stunningly though really... beyond that, the film falls a bit short in its character establishment, narrative development, etc. ... still worth a gander though...
The Platonic ideal of the bullshit arthouse picture. When you say "art film" to your mom and dad, this is the kind of limp-wristed, pretentious (YUP), turgid slime that they'll think of. Hides behind the art label to deliver plain old bad writing and empty provocation - see the first scene, which promises an entirely different type of film (but it's subverting expectations!!). Thrill to another meek Japanese girl.
I was attracted by the beautiful title, but there's no map of sounds here. The film looks like a postcard or a touristic pamphlet full of western clichés about Japan. Every location of the film seems picked in the Lonely Planet... The bird's-eyes views of the city are stock shots from a famous DVD ("Virtual Trip - Tokyo night view from the sky")... The map of the sounds of Tokyo still wait to be drawn.
I was on board with this film for the first 30 minutes, intrigued by mystery and a revenge story until Ryu and David's first meeting where shitty English dialogue appears and the films cracks rapidly start showing. Awkward sex scenes, characters with no character (kind of important), a story that doesn't give a shit along with the director. There's better films representing Japanese cinema... this isn't it. Avoid!
If it hadn't such sweet, honest and bold sex scenes, and for a couple of fantastic tunes by Misora Hibari, I would definitely have given it a star less. As for the rest of the movie, Japan in general and Tokyo in particular have proven to be just too big and too much for Coitex's skill.