what stands out most to me is the whirling phantasmagoria of the middle section, bridging the warm-hued patriarchal fantasy of the first hour and the cynical hyperviolent self-castigation of the last twenty minutes in a gesture that deflates both the (almost noirish?) libidinal probing of Aoyama's ego and the various mythologies he attempts to hang on Asami's image. she is victim and victimizer, sex object and domestic servant, empty vessel and overburdened signifier, each and every configuration colliding like tectonic plates in Aoyama's consciousness until his own fantasy consumes and destroys him. as much (uncomfortable) self-recognition as i find in her declarations about pain and love and truth, i'm surprised anyone chooses to latch onto this as some kind of feminist revenge narrative: Asami never really shows up, does she?


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