Review: 「愛と誠」 (Ai to Makoto/For Love’s Sake)

9 thoughts on “Review: 「愛と誠」 (Ai to Makoto/For Love’s Sake)”

  1. Ah, you got the review out just under the wire! Good comments about the use of tropes and character-types.

    Sometimes I watch a Miike film and find myself questioning my love of his filmography but this one is just plain fantastic in every regard. Only he would have the guts and style to go full-out and create a hyper-fantasy that takes an ironic look at a classic title like this. I cannot think of many other directors who could match him – Sono seems to have mellowed!

    Tsumabuki is really charismatic in this and I can see why people like him. I really loved Ihara and Ando’s great performances as well. I thought Takei was good even though her role was limited to playing the angel. I loved the set design as well. Everything about the film shouts energy, inventiveness and charisma and it makes other films feel moribund. I just loved it! 🙂

    I also prefer the Japanese title Ai to Makoto as well.

    1. First, thanks for linking to my review from your blog. (Need to add in links to other reviews.)

      This is my first Miike film, and I haven’t watched enough of Sono (only Himizu I think) to compare. On the basis of Himizu I wouldn’t call Sono mellow, but the impression I get Miike’s films are much more genre-bending and mix-mash-whatever, which makes his work really one of a kind. Sono is challenging in other ways.

      Some people had concerns about Takei, not for this film (which I think is the kind of film that can be more forgiving in terms of acting than others) but for Rurouni Kenshin, which I haven’t yet seen (I’m resisting the illegal uploads that have popped up recently – fingers crossed for festival screening). She doesn’t have all that much experience and I think it’s an easy role she plays here, she’ll have to prove herself in the future. With Tsumbabuki we of course know that he has done tons of films and dramas as well, and has played all kinds of course – he seems to have tried out just about every role and he’s fabulous in them all. Even if he doesn’t say a word, he’ll say so much (see No Boys No Cry). Well, I’ll stop, you know already what I think of Tsumabuki!

      1. Sono would be the other director I would think of who might have been able to pull this film off. By saying Sono has mellowed I meant his latest films which, in comparison to films like Strange Circus and Suicide Club, feel normal (if very, extremely intense). Suicide Club in particular is so dense with themes, imagery and ideas and it is all thrown at the viewer along with a lot of extreme imagery.

        Sono has a very diverse range of films including melancholy relationship drama but if I wanted to compare Sono to Miike, Suicide Club would be the first choice.

        I’ll look into Tsumabuki’s work more now that I know what he’s capable of. Not for the eye-candy aspect or anything… Emi Takei’s more my thing.

      2. I don’t think anyone would expect you too look into Tsumabuki’s work for the eye candy aspect 😉

        But eye candy aspect aside, he’s good.

  2. alua~

    I really enjoyed this. The musical scenes were killer. I thought Ai’s song was cheery, not cheesy, (ok, I think she’s cute).

    The cafe scene was funky, avant-garde. Iwashimizu’s confession, Yuki’s mournful bathroom stall ballad and Ai’s parent’s love of living large, all were superb.

    Gumko’s orgasmic reaction to Makoto’s manhandling of her was funny.

    1. I’m so glad you are among the people that find this movie brilliant! Ai’s song was cheery… but still cheesy in my book. But we can say “cheery-cheesy”.

      Did you watch with your wife? What did she think?

    1. [SPOILER WARNING]

      Yes. As much as I don’t want Tsumabuki Satoshi to die on me in any movie, I think it actually worked fine here – just part of the great over-the-top drama (to the point that the ending is sort of funny). Keep in mind, the director is Miike Takashi, not the sort to give a candy-coated Hollywood ending… It’s like Oh, they finally made it… but in the last second they didn’t.

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