February 26, 2014

R100 (2013)

R100 (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Country: Japan

Movie Review: Japanese helmer Hitoshi Matsumoto creates an original and bizarre universe in his latest comedy “R100”, a film that can be seen as a sort of vicious, dark comics about sadomasochism. Katayama (Mao Daichi) is a furniture salesman who becomes inconsolable and depressed with his daily life, deciding to join an obscure S&M club for gentlemen in order to distract himself. While his wife is staying in a hospital for a long time in a vegetative state, their little son is almost exclusively raised by his father-in-law. Katayama seems constantly daydreaming and is frequently beaten up by different ‘femmes fatales’ (implacable Queens who appear without notice to play with his body and mind), but at night he returns to his family, trying to act normally in front of his son. Fed up and exhausted, Katayama decides to quit the club, but not without fierce opposition from the foreign CEO (great show by Lindsay Kay Hayward) who arrives to solve the problem, in a memorable and furious appearance. The film also tries to leave some smart cues in sneering tones, joking with the menace of earthquakes, seen as the reality of modern life in Japan, and presenting us with an inscrutable film inside the film. “R100” was meant for minorities and conceived to be a modern cult-film that can be seen whether as a challenging surrealistic experience or as a pointless macabre feast. With an unruly attitude, Matsumoto combined pale colored images predominantly brownish with a joyful music (including Beethoven) that goes against the sinister happenings.

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