Kurt’s review published on Letterboxd:
Probably as comprehensive a satire on religion as an institution as one is likely to exist, and that is not even mentioning how Sono incorporates themes of love and lust into the mix. Conceptually, there is rarely any fat to this four hour epic, as multiple storylines are introduced with a deft hand by Sono and are intersected smoothly. Each storyline adds a layer to the commentary on how religious institutions impact one’s sense of identity and sexuality, especially in how one has to drastically conform to certain ideals to even receive acceptance, and how one’s judgement becomes clouded not by religion itself but the fanaticism it can inspire. The opening act alone inspires such twisted glee in how Sono pinpoints his satire.
My only quibble with this film is that the pacing starts to let up as it heads into the last hour. Easy to forgive, however, when each new chapter adds something unexpected and adds a new perspective to the larger story; especially when each individual segment has its own clear beginning and end. It is never repetitive and never boring, though one aspect that seems surprising to me considering Sono’s reputation (I am only three films into his filmography as of now, so my perspective is narrow) is that it never feels truly excessive or chaotic.