AKA: Ai No Mukidashi
Directed by: Sion Sono
Starring: Takahiro Nishijima (Yu), Hikari Mitsushima (Yoko), Sakura Ando (Koike), Atsuro Watabe (Father), Makiko Watanabe (Kaori)
Country: Japan; Effed Up Asian Movies
Language: Japanese (Eng Subs); Effed Up Japanese Films
Genres: Teenagers, Voyeur-Stalking, Family, , Religion, Cult, Sexual-Violence against Men, Sexual-Violence against Women, SelfHarm-Suicide, Gore-Gruesome, Captivity-Kidnapping, CrossDressing, Lesbians, Domestic Abuse, Porn-related
Plot – Spoilers:
Diverse characters and their backstories are explored in separate chapters – there’s plenty of time for that with the 4-hour runtime.
We begin with the lead character Yu. Following the untimely death of his mother, he grows up with a depressed father who immerses himself in Christianity, even becoming a popular local priest. Temptress Kaori enters and leaves their lives, leaving dad cold and cruel to the point where he doesn’t accept Yu’s confessions at church anymore, insisting that Yu’s lying about his sinless life. So in an effort to reconnect with dad, Yu starts sinning and when the sins don’t seem good enough, he befriends a gang of misfits from school and takes to sexual sins to enrage father. The group specializes in upskirt clicks and Yu is the undefeated champ, elevating him to a leader role.
But for all his collection of panty and thigh snaps, Yu just can’t get hard. He keeps waiting for his personal Virgin Mary to turn him on and this happens when he saves Yoko from a bunch of thugs. Only problem is, he was in drag at the time on a dare, and has to continue the charade to continue meeting Yoko, because she despises all men. It gets more complicated when Yoko moves into Yu’s home because it turns out she’s Kaori’s step-daughter and so when Kaori returns, Yoko becomes some kind of sister to Yu. There’s also a cult member, Koike, who’s out to recruit the whole bunch and also has her eyes on Yu.
Love Exposure is one of those really long movies that you could actually watch in one sitting, because it’s ridiculously entertaining, even despite a soppy love angle that creeps in towards the end. Even where the scenes are about pain and misery, there is an element of dark humor that makes it almost comedic – like when one of the characters is being beaten with a belt by her father, and he insists she say, “Geeve it to me”.
The English subtitles also lead to some (possibly) unintentional wordplay, like at the end: