Air Doll (Kûki ningyô) (2009)
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Critic Reviews for Air Doll (Kûki ningyô)
The film's poignant depiction of human loneliness is undercut by saccharine notes and a drifting tone.
A charming, richly textured fable that touches on fundamental questions of existence.
The movie is a fable etched in comedy, sadness, and mild existential philosophy. Yes, the object of Kore-eda's fairy tale is a life-size sex toy, but it's the size and emotional shading of the toy's new life that interests him.
This follow-up, despite having been in the works for years, feels a tad rushed.
The urban fairytale about an inflatable sex doll come to life gradually unfurls as an achingly beautiful meditation on loneliness and longing in the city.
Audience Reviews for Air Doll (Kûki ningyô)
It is frustrating to see an interesting premise be made into such an overlong film that fails because of its thematic ambition and lack of focus, as it tries to be about a good too many things at the same time and doesn't know how to fully explore them into a consistent thesis.
Despite what the unusual premise might lead you to believe, "Air Doll" is a very human, emotional, and strong work. Despite being a little too long and dragging in spots, I was captivated by this film through it's entire duration.
I'm now a fully dedicated fan to the work of Hirokazu Koreeda. His films are endlessly lovable. Taking on strange ideas but presenting them with most earnestness. Here he does Toy Story/Pinocchio with a blow-up sex doll. She comes to life after her lonely owner leaves for work. She ventures around meeting people and begins to understand the world around her. She longs for a heart but soon finds with a heart comes great pain. This film is a realistic fantasy. Never once do we doubt the story that is being told. It deals with the objectification of women, and the loneliness of humanity. Koreeda never allows us to wallow in self-pity. He presents a montage of lonely characters which is absolutely crushing. He doesn't use cheap techniques, just showing people in their lives. Picking shell out of a cracked egg, dealing with picky customers, overhearing somebody else being chatted up. It's all done with such honesty you soon forget this is a story about a sex doll. Du-na Bae creates a fish out of water character looking for her purpose and happiness, without coming across as stupid or annoying. Her innocence drives the film and makes it all the more tragic. A wonderful piece.
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