Love Exposure (Ai No Mukidashi) (2008)
(18) Running time: 237 minutes
Director: Shion Sono
Writer: Shion Sono
Starring: Takahiro Nishijima, Hikari Mitsushima, Sakuro Ando
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Oh my, oh my, what a triumph this was. A 4 hour Japanese film about love, but done in true Japanese style! It tells the story of a teenager whose Dad is a priest. He’s very close to his Mum, and religion is a daily occurrence. His Mum dies, and gives him a statue of Mary and says you’ll know when you find your true love, so the lad goes in search of his one and only true love. He’s waiting for a sign. He waits and waits. Meanwhile, his Dad has found love again with an oddly obsessive woman, and after getting married they split up, causing his Dad to turn a bit weird. He now wants his son to sin, because he has sinned by marrying and going against the Church. Not able to sin to his Dads wishes, the lad realises he must do terrible things to impress his Dad, so that when he goes to confess to his Dad (who is a priest again) his Dad can punish him.
The lad starts getting into trouble and gets in with a gang of hoodlums hell bent on taking photos up girls skirts when they least expect it! They even have a hysterical training programme on how to get the best shots. It’s truly inventive, and highly comical. The lad becomes a bit of a Messiah as he’s the best, and his gang follow him round. Eventually, after becoming a bit of a legend, he dresses as a woman, and accidentally saves a gorgeous young girl who is about to fight 20 men. As the woman, he calls himself Scorpion, he kisses the girl and they fall in love.
Oh, there is so much to tell you in the plot I could write this for hours! Anyway, it doesn’t all pan out as it should and a sinister cult who are desperate to destroy Christianity have a devious plan. The lad’s Dads eventually gets back with his ex-wife, who has now adopted the saved girl as her daughter. Confused??? It’s not confusing, just at 4 hours long, a hell of a lot goes on.
Things do turn dark, bizarre and at times violent and once you get onto disk 2, the cult start to get their way and another gorgeous girl gets involved, pretending to be Scorpion and then recruiting the family into the cult. Anyway, I won’t say any more on story, but I highly recommend this as it has everything you’ve come to expect from the Japanese. A love triangle, plus another love triangle, incest, lots and lots and lots of upskirt views, plenty of school uniforms, the usual chaotic acting, plenty of violence, spraying blood, some sword fights, fast paced action and chases, and it’s just downright bizarre!!! If you can handle the 4 hours, you’re in for a right treat!!