Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (12)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (10)
| Rotten (2)
| DVD (1)
The husband may look like a caterpillar, but it's the wife who goes through a transformation.
"Caterpillar" is difficult to watch. But it's directed, acted and photographed well, and it's worth seeing even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Blends a B-movie aesthetic, brilliant use of montage and documentary elements and a scathing critique of nationalism and militarism.
Might be read as a reaction to hawkish nationalism, but it's more a cry for the unknown soldier in the kitchen and bedroom.
Legendary Japanese softcore auteur Kôji Wakamatsu channels Samuel Fuller for a twisted domestic-drama-cum-psychosexual-evisceration of Japan's fascist past.
Over-explicit and confused.
This Caterpillar creeps under your skin and stays there.
Caterpillar is brilliant but tough to look at; Wakamatsu isn't pulling any punches as he delivers his message. It's the Feel-Bad Movie of the Week, really.
Essentially a sexually charged two-hander with blunt allegorical implications, Kôji Wakamatsu's one-note follow-up to United Red Army is a disappointing affair, visually indifferent and thematically simplistic.
Aesthetically, emotionally, and intellectually crude, Koji Wakamatsu's brutally effective Caterpillar finds the director making obvious points about Japanese nationalism/militarism and less obvious ones about the sexual dynamic of marriage.
An astonishing performance by Shinobu Terajima anchors this indictment of right-wing Japanese nationalism of the 1940s.
This film is as searing as any Western narrative or nonfiction on post-hostilities trauma.
In "Caterpillar," the good news is that Kyuzo(Shima Ohnishi) returns alive from the war and a hero to boot. The bad news is he is not exactly in one piece, with all of his limbs having been amputated and communication with other people at best rudimentary. After his wife Shigeko(Shinobu Terajima) calms down sufficiently enough, she considers putting him out of his misery but then thinks twice about it, settling down into the routine of taking care of him for the long haul which also includes an itch he needs to scratch...
To its credit, "Caterpillar" is not just an empty provocation, as it is very much anti-war, and not just in the ironic way it uses music. The first time we see Kyuzo is when he is raping a Chinese woman which makes him a war criminal more than anything else. That alone questions what the entire Japanese war effort was all about. Or maybe karma can just be incredibly nasty. In any case, all of which is established very early on which leaves the movie, as repetitive as it is and as shoddy as the production is, little room to go anywhere, except to explore the evolving power structure of the couple which has its moments.
A village woman is forced to care for her invalid husband when the Emperor declares him a "Living War God" after he loses all four limbs and his ability to talk in the Second Sino-Japanese war. A bizarre premise sparks this intense drama about duty; it's minimally exploitative, but there IS plenty of caterpillar/wife sex.
The complex relation between a devoted wife and amputee husband is explored to it's most raw levels by Mr Wakamatsu. She is more than just the devoted pasive housewife, and he's more than just another guy who fought in the war. You could accuse Wakamatsu of being too blunt with the anti-nationalistic message, showing the blind loyalty of the towns people over and over, along with the images of the medals, the propaganda in the news about Japan winning the war and so on. The real meat and juice of the story is in the relation between the two main characters, both actors giving fantastic performances, becoming the foundation of the film.
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