Caterpillar - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Caterpillar Reviews

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February 13, 2016
Japanese film mocking war once again. They are kind of good at it. If the englishes were losing wars, they would do this. A different take on the soldier coming back with no members. This one still has stubbles and a face, contrary to our canadian equivalent that came back only with a torso and his brain and could communicate only in morse. So here, our hero is in much better shape, has a wife and is refered to as war god. He is also plunged into the vulnerable position, even though he is still abusive. This pushes him to reconsider his own previous abuses as well as becoming easily abused. A funny turn of event. Very nice photography with the beautiful sepia tone. We get to see some japanese way of life and thinking.
February 13, 2016
Japanese film mocking war once again. They are kind of good at it. If the englishes were losing wars, they would do this. A different take on the soldier coming back with no members. This one still has stubbles and a face, contrary to our canadian equivalent that came back only with a torso and his brain and could communicate only in morse. So here, our hero is in much better shape, has a wife and is refered to as war god. He is also plunged into the vulnerable position, even though he is still abusive. This pushes him to reconsider his own previous abuses as well as becoming easily abused. A funny turn of event. Very nice photography with the beautiful sepia tone. We get to see some japanese way of life and thinking.
½ December 20, 2015
Película sobre el nacionalismo japones en la guerra contra China de 1940, va sobre una mujer de campo que se ve obligada a cuidar de su esposo quien regresa de la guerra sin brazos, piernas, escucha y habla. Típico dramonón japones con toda esa carga melodramática que gustan y con ese dolor que terminó con los 250 mil cuerpos que dejaron los locos yankis en el 45 con sus bombas atómicas.
July 30, 2014
No one watches the film and goes unscathed!
July 14, 2014
Plot description is misleading. Story is political, but is mainly about a woman who cares for her invalid soldier husband who lost his arms & legs and cant speak. Very sad & well-acted by Shinobu Terajima. (Caution: graphic creepy sex scenes.)
williamhunt2
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2013
Gruesome story but it is a powerful anti war (and anti-nationalistic) film.
Very hard to watch, makes your stomach turn.
October 16, 2013
One line summary: Traditional horror with zero supernatural elements; war is more terrible than fake gore.
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The film is full of flashbacks, and one of the early ones was of Kyuzo and all the village dressing up for his departure from the village into the military.
Most of the film takes place after Kyuzo is a veteran of the war between China and Japan around the time of World War II. He lost both legs and both arms in combat, his head ss about 40% burned, and he is deaf. His speech is adversely affected by the lack of hearing.
His wife Shigeko is horrified with this from the start. She tries to strangle him, but does not have the strength. The villagers honor Kyuzo and his achievements, such as they were, in China. They encourage Shigeko strongly to take care of the hero, the War God.
Shigeko learns to deal with his eating, waste, bathing, and sexual functions. She takes care of him, which is an large daily effort, an enormous effort over an interval of years. She also works in the rice fields with the other villagers during the day.
He tries to learn to write/draw with his mouth and pencil, starting with 'I want to do it.'
She parades him around the village dress in uniform and medals. Sometimes she leaves him in the cart to watch her work in the rice fields.
About half way through the film, she really gets into being the put-upon wife, and insists on his performing his responsibilities as well. She gets lots of attention for this, and he gets a taste of all the work (done by others) that he generates. Also, she becomes very conscious of the fact that he can no longer beat her. After some time in this steady state, Kyuzo starts having bad memories of what he did in China. Plus his obligations as War God never seem to go away.
By 1945, the war started to come to Japanese soil. The radio in Japan reports something entirely different. Shigeko starts getting inwardly discouraged with the horrible things that have happened. Kyuzo has more flashbacks of his bad deeds in China.
Toward the end of the war, she needs satisfaction, but he has trouble even being aroused, since he's too obsessed with the bad memories. She slings back in his face the horrible things he said to her before he left for war. At one point, just seeing the flame in their evening lantern brings back the memories of rotten things he did, and how he lost his limbs. This is when she sings a song about a caterpillar, which is what her husband reminds her of.

-------Scores-------

Cinematography: 7/10 Archival footage was in out of focus sepia; in other words, it sucked rocks.

Sound: 8/10 OK, but not great.

Acting: 9/10 Fine.

Screenplay: 8/10 The story hangs together well. More cohesion about the flashbacks would have been nice.
½ August 1, 2013
It seems rare to see an actual Japanese film be based on World War II, but this one was based on the home front, a Japanese soldier who lost all of his limbs in battle, returned home and is considered a war god. The "war god" having been an abuser of his wife, prior to his deployment, still seemed to make her life miserable which made the film itself have an unsettling feel to it, but overall, it wasn't a bad film, but it wasn't really a good one at that.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
February 16, 2013
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.
½ August 19, 2012
this was extremely depressing but incredibly realistic.
June 17, 2012
Tosto, ma molto lucido, difficile non apprezzarlo
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2012
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.
½ January 5, 2012
Caterpillar is the latest film from Japanese master-filmmaker Koji Wakamatsu's latest film Caterpillar is a powerful, unflinching denunciation of the militarist-nationalism of Japan. Taking place during the Sino-Japanese War, we are introduced to Kyuzo, a man who has lost both his arms and legs in the war, returns home to be praised for his sacrifices and heralded as a war god. His wife, Shigeko, takes care of him, as is her duty as a woman in Japanese culture. Shigeko spends her time taking care of Shigeko; cleaning him, tending to him sexually, and bringing him to all of his military engagements where he is praised for his sacrifices. Shigeko is an amazing character in this film that personifies what Japanese woman faced during these times. She sees her husband in shambles, almost unrecognizable as a man and yet must parade him around as some sort of show piece for the army. Her character is multifaceted as she gets to the point where she begins to almost blame Kyuzo for what has happened to him, mocking him as this "war god". Shinobu Terajima is just down right brilliant as Skigeko giving easily one of the best performances of the year. She is fragile, troubled and even borderline psychotic in this film as she views what this Japanese war culture has done to her husband. Koji Wakamatsu has a made a powerful, unflinching film against war that would make Samuel Fuller proud.
½ December 18, 2011
A worthy concept. A disappointing movie.

The production values were straight out of late 60s early 70s low budget American television: the hard contrast videotape appearing visuals; the harsh, hollow audio, sounding as if recorded in a big empty studio; clumsy superimposed images; the dated piano and cello underscore, and even the narrative structure reminded be of the Sunday morning dramas of faith which I watched occasionally in the early 70s. The production sensibilities landed so solidly in the style of low budget contemporary television drama of the early 70s that I simply could not convince myself that the movie took place at any other time despite the sets, costumes, and subject matter.

The movie itself expressed and belabored its themes with the same subtlety as those Sunday morning television parables as well. There's potential in this story and I hope it receives a better treatment sometime.
½ December 16, 2011
Despite the reviews saying how difficult the film is to watch, it also manages to be boring. The director makes his point early on, but then hammers at the same point, without adding much to its impact.

We get it. Move on already.
DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2011
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.
½ July 4, 2011
So much for some stupid medals. Second World War was Japan's most terrible mistake ever, and the price was even more higher for their very naive (and extremely hypocritical) people. If you want to know the truth about Japan, watch this movie. Don't watch Hachiko.
½ June 30, 2011
Quite an unusual film - a mix between a creepy story of a ex-soldier with no limbs and the war crimes. Apart from the soldier's relationship with his wife, this film feels pretty much like shock value losing its shock value.
June 18, 2011
I liked it. And for the most part, the sex scenes helped the story and the depths of the character. It's an interesting story of nationalism and existence, both in life and of possible continuance.
June 3, 2011
Jebus! This is difficult, and not for the dainty or faint of heart. Honour and retribution, payback with double sake...one minute your natural male instinct hovers, and then you realise this is a movie where the power "man" wields can fall back upon you. Shocking stuff, but brilliantly filmed. Speechless. No pun intented.
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