Women lured to darkness in ‘Koi no Tsumi’

Yasuko Onda / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

Koi no Tsumi (Guilty of Romance)

Dir: Sion Sono

Cast: Miki Mizuno, Megumi Kagurazaka, Makoto Togashi

Films directed by Sion Sono always present two contradictory elements–love and hate, beauty and ugliness, heaven and hell–as two parts of a whole. This is also true of his latest work, Koi no Tsumi (Guilty of Romance).

Inspired by the 1997 murder case of a female employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co., Sono presents the story of three women who have a mysterious link to each other.

A woman’s body is found in a bleak apartment in the love-hotel district in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward. While investigating the case, female detective Kazuko (Miki Mizuno) discovers the secrets held by two women: Mitsuko (Makoto Togashi), who teaches Japanese literature at a university, while moonlighting as a prostitute, and housewife Izumi (Megumi Kagurazaka).

All three women have secured a place in respectable society, but they peer into a darker, more dangerous world. Izumi goes the farthest–escaping from her flat, featureless daily life, she starts to use her body in an attempt to verify her own existence.

Her adventures become increasingly extreme, and lured by Mitsuko, she tumbles deep into a dark world.

Men may find it shocking to see women choose to head for a fall. Koi no Tsumi, however, does not simply portray their downfall but women trying to escape from the things that are confining them.

Can they smash through the end of the darkness? What will they see there? Sono follows the women to the limit, hinting at a glittering world that can only be found at the very bottom. It is a world of fantasy that ordinary women can never reach.

The performances by the female leads, particularly Kagurazaka, are heartrending, but this will be appreciated only by those who can see this 18-rated movie.

The movie, in Japanese, is now playing.

Article source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/arts/T111116006582.htm

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