Love Exposure

Love Exposure ★★★★★

Not Another 30 Day Film Challenge: Day Five, A Film that is at least Three Hours Long.

I didn't think that Shion Sono was going to be able to top the hectic lunacy of perfection that was in Why Don't You Play in Hell? Especially with a title like this, which to me sounded more like a sappy romance movie. Not true in this case. Love Exposure is an epic four hour love story that has everything I could ever want from a romance film and more than I expected. Action, violence, gore, blood, cross-dressing, an awesome soundtrack, a twisted story of unrequited love and betrayal, Catholic priests- you name it, they have it. It's an all-out exposition on the futility of chastity, and one of the most insane films I've ever seen.

Yu's father is a Catholic priest whose only concern it seems is to force confessionals out of his son. The problem is, Yu seems to be a boring fellow, and doesn't get info too much trouble. So how is he going to be able to please his borderline abhsive father with sins to confess? By taking photos up random girls' skirts incognito, of course. He even goes to a completely insane-looking school dedicated to the art of "peek a boo panty photography," and soon becomes a coveted master of the art. However, Yu soon falls in love with one of his subjects, a beautiful girl named Yoko, who dislikes any and all men. Things get complicated later when his father and Yoko's mother decide to get married, making things awkward for the two of them and even more difficult for poor Yu's love plight. There's also a completely insane girl named Koike who falls in love with Yoko, but I'm not going to get too far ahead of myself now.

The bottom line is, Love Exposure takes its time to set up the plot and characters (almost an hour, to be exact) and this is perfectly fine with me. If the director wants to make a four hour epic fleshing out each and every detail about the characters, and does it with flair and style, that's perfect. And the way Sono does it here is absolutely brilliant. He's not holding back here- this is an all-out exposé. Nothing is sacred, everything is satirized, and in the end the film is all-around hilariously brilliant.

If you aren't into long films or are easily offended, then Love Exposure definitely isn't for you. Catholicism and religion in its entirety are mocked here, but it provides for some brilliant humor. The film is as crazy as a Japanese film can get, and is riddled with epic, fast-paced scenes. I was really taken by surprise with this one, and I dare call it my favorite Japanese film of all time. Full of wit, humor, action, and good old fashioned blood, Love Exposure is probably the best four hours of my life, and I want to experience it all again. A truly thrilling ride through and through.

Wesley liked these reviews