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!
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.
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...
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.