Love Exposure

Love Exposure ★★★★½

"There's no escape from being bad." - The Worst Priest,

- Film Club Ranked: boxd.it/3M2sq

The title screen for the movie comes 58 minutes into the film, that's fucking gangster.

What's a good boy like Yu Honda to do when his priest father demands that he have sins to confess everyday? Did you guess that he would force himself to become really good at committing sins and that it would devolve into an epic sin adventure where everyone would learn things about themselves? Well then you are one fantastic person... Great fucking guess!

I don't know if I've ever seen a movie that so perfectly blends 8 or 9 separate genres the way Love Exposure manages to do. The training montages in the first hour are hysterical and there is a lot to learn about these individuals in the first 90 minutes. Takahiro Nishijima does a really masterful job as Yu. Nishijima has to express every possible emotion and do a great deal of physical work in the film and without his charisma the movie would likely fall flat. The remainder of the cast effectively creates this world that is hyperactive, and at times depressing. Also, Yu is hung like a horse.

The love interest and hero of her own, Yoko, had me when she states "Jesus, I approve of you as the only cool man besides Kurt Cobain." Her hatred of men is a well grounded subplot that works perfectly for both her and Yu's character arcs. I also love Koike and the underlying plot of the zero church trying to manipulate and recruit people. The film is great at making themes like alienation, captivity, gender, love, fear, etc. somehow goofy and emotionally moving at the same time.

Soto's camerawork is fantastic in this and I really appreciate the overall look of the film, even though it occasionally feels a bit more like a TV production than a fancy shmancy film. I like how basic the interior shots of the homes are but then once people are moving (car scene, exterior fighting, etc.) everything feels much more manic and stylized. The pacing is good. The movie feels long but it doesn't feel four hours. I also think the script is fantastic and got tired of writing down quotes I might use.

Yes, I think people should see this movie and believe it's worth the time.

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