Empire of Passion (Ai no borei) (In the Realm of Passion) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Empire of Passion (Ai no borei) (In the Realm of Passion) Reviews

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September 1, 2010
I went to watch this film in Tyneside Cinema with my boyfriend when we just started dating years ago. Be warned: it is not a date movie (however, it gave us something to joke about for months).

Supposedly an "art" film, but this is NOT. It's a hard core porno movie! The harder it tries to pursue an artistic direction, the funnier it gets. I laughed out loud when hard boiled eggs went in and out. Mmm very tasty.

Someone please tell me why it is categorized as an art film!! Just because exotic people are doing slightly perverted sex, it doesn't necessarily make it art.
Super Reviewer
½ September 1, 2010
Can we have some sensible reviews of this film, please. An average star-rating of 3 is ridiculous for this near-masterpiece. "Empire of Passion" is a loose companion piece to Nagisa Oshima's notorious "In the Realm of the Senses". Though Tatsuya Fuji plays the male lead once more, and the story again concerns a couple driven to violence by their obsessive lust, "Empire of Passion" is less intense than the earlier film and its tone is much lighter, allowing for a healthy dose of comedy. Set in late 19th century rural Japan, it's a ghost story about a rickshaw puller, murdered by his wife and her lover, who returns from the dead and haunts his killers to the point of self-incrimination. Whereas "In the Realm of the Senses" was mostly set indoors, this exquisitely photographed film is opened out into the beautiful countryside, the passage of time mapped by the changing seasons. Curiously the frequent softcore sex scenes feel gratuitous and exploitative in a way that their hardcore equivalent in "...Senses" never did, and it's for this reason I've deducted a half-star.
September 1, 2010
"think twice before doing something and don't listen naively to others...you might regret it afterwards. Justice will always be the winner in the end".
Nicely filmed and interersting plot! Thought not for under 18 yrs old due to some "passionate" scenes...
September 1, 2010
Very freaky. Maybe 18-year-old me was too young to see it. Never been so interested in Japanese culture, and this movie doesn't help.
½ September 1, 2010
Bought but never finished. I kept thinking of it as a remake of the ITROTS, and that kept me from finishing.

Maybe, maybe I'll get around to watching the whole thing.
September 1, 2010
I like darkness and sexuality. I like this movie.
½ September 1, 2010
Different then ROSenses, but sexy nonetheless.
½ September 1, 2010
i thought shaggy and scooby were in this one...how disappointed i was
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2010
[font=Century Gothic]Nagisa Oshima's "In the Realm of Passion" takes place in a Japanese village in 1895. Seki(Kazuko Yoshiyuki) is married to Gisaburo(Takuhiro Tamura), a rickshaw driver. She begins a tumultuous affair with Toyoji(Tatsuya Fuji) who just got out of the army and is 20 years her junior. After Toyoji blackmails her with the most unique scenario I've ever seen, she agrees to kill her husband with him. They succeed and dump Gisaburo's body in a well. The story recommences three years later...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"In the Realm of Passion" starts promisingly but the movie, by trying to be atmospheric, just succeeds in being murky. This is not as explicit as Oshima's "In the Realm of the Senses", thus showing much needed subtlety and self-control.[/font]
August 8, 2010
Lâ??empire de la passion, (Ai no borei), Nagisa Oshima, 1978 (JAP).
***** Excellent !
Bon, les intonations terriblement mièvres des femmes japonaises est affreux Ă  entendre pour mes oreilles, mais bon, câ??est culturel, câ??est comme ça.
Après moi, je ne suis pas du tout objective : dès que Tatsuya Fuji se met Ă  poil, quâ??on voit ses fesses de dos, ses bras musclĂ©s, et quâ??en plus il se met Ă  pĂ©nĂ©trer une femme ou Ă  faire des cunnis, moi je deviens folle raide dingue de lui. Quel grand acteur. On ne rit pas, je suis sĂ©rieuse : il fallait le faire Ă  lâ??Ă©poque et il le fait vraiment très très bien, sans aucune vulgaritĂ©, il le fait naturellement.
Câ??est dans lâ??empire des sens quâ??on voit son visage sous tous les angles et jâ??adore aussi son visageâ?¦Il a des expressions qui me rappellent terriblement quelquâ??un que jâ??aime beaucoup Ă  cause, prĂ©cisĂ©ment, de ce genre dâ??expression que je ne saurais dĂ©crire, hĂ©las. Tout ce que je peux dire câ??est que ces expressions de visage expriment une grande sensibilitĂ© et sont magnifiques Ă  regarder.
Son seul dĂ©faut câ??est dâ??ĂŞtre trop petit.
A propos de la morale du film : ce qui est dommage câ??est dâ??avoir Ă©tĂ© obligĂ© de tuer pour se dĂ©barrasser dâ??un mari, vive le concept moderne du divorce !
Parce quâ??au final ce film condamne le crime, et derrière le crime, lâ??adultère.
Mais il a dĂ» faire rĂ©flĂ©chir pas mal de gens Ă  lâ??Ă©poque, parce que le plaisir est bien lĂ , très bien filmĂ© le plaisir, indĂ©niable, et lâ??amour aussi est bel et bien prĂ©sent entre les deux amants puisque chacun nâ??a pas hĂ©sitĂ© Ă  vouloir mourir pour lâ??autre : ce nâ??Ă©tait pas quâ??une histoire de fesses. Alors si on se pose la question, comme nous y incite le film : « Est-ce que ça en valait la peine ? » « Est-ce que ça valait la peine de se faire torturer (et de rendre deux enfants malheureux) pour « ça » ? ». Ben oui. Câ??est clair que ça en valait la peine.
August 6, 2010
Oshima's Empire of Passion is a beautiful, poignant, and harrowing kaidan (or ghost story) that explores the power of passion and its ability to wreak havoc upon the lives of those who experience it in its unbounded potential. It is a film about revenge as much as it is about love, but ultimately the revenge plot merely serves to highlight the film's exploration as love: love is always damned to sorrow and destruction, passion only leads to heartache, and society severs us from being able to exhibit our love in its purest form. Empire of Passion attacks the nature of sexual taboos and the repressive apparatus of marriage while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of how art is allowed to depict love and sex. Although Empire of Passion harbors this underlying political agenda, it also functions as a profound statement on love and the repercussions of loving too much or loving in a way that society deems "wrong."
½ April 16, 2010
Normally I dont like movies involving ghosts, but this one I definitely liked. The ghost was pretty creepy and there really were hardly any special effects involved. Really liked the cinematography as well. Her complaining about them not being able to be together got a little tiresome, but didnt ruin the movie. Very tormented couple.......
March 18, 2010
Passion, crime, nemesis...An antique tragedy in Japan of the 19th century. Dark, atmospheric,poetic, erotic. A real masterpiece by Nagisa Oshima!!!
March 14, 2010
Oshima's Empire of Passion is a beautiful, poignant, and harrowing kaidan (or ghost story) that explores the power of passion and its ability to wreak havoc upon the lives of those who experience it in its unbounded potential. It is a film about revenge as much as it is about love, but ultimately the revenge plot merely serves to highlight the film's exploration as love: love is always damned to sorrow and destruction, passion only leads to heartache, and society severs us from being able to exhibit our love in its purest form. Empire of Passion attacks the nature of sexual taboos and the repressive apparatus of marriage while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of how art is allowed to depict love and sex. Although Empire of Passion harbors this underlying political agenda, it also funcations as a profound statement on love and the repurcussions of loving too much or loving in a way that society deems "wrong."
½ March 1, 2010
Nagisa Oshima's follow-up to his In the Realm of the Senses is a nice tragic romance ghost story that is masterfully shot and acted. The film is about a wife having an affair with a much younger man that results in murder. The shots of the well and the ghost add a great deal of atmosphere to the tale. Wouldn't be surprised if this film was a large inspiration to Japanese horror namely The Ring series.
February 27, 2010
Though the central motif of this piece is quite unoriginal (and at times annoying), the emotional intensity of the performances and the rather surprising complexity given to the characters in this Japanese horror is quite refreshing and worth the watch.
January 12, 2010
Normally I would avoid a movie based on adultery at all costs, but in this case I make an exception because the cheater and her 'lover' get fucked with for their crimes and eventually die. It's not a great movie, acutally I'm not really seeing why Criterion has chosen it as one of their releases, I'm sure it has to do with Oshima winning best director at Cannes. And the direction is good. But it's a little cheesy and doesn't really deliver the way it could have.
Oh well, here's hoping more films with adultery as their storyline end up this way, with the people who committed it in total despair. That's all adulterer's deserve anyway.
½ December 16, 2009
A wife and her young lover murder her husband and dump his body down a well. Three years later, the man's ghost comes back to haunt everybody. This Japanese erotic horror film is absolutely spectacular. However, it does suffer from the same flaw as Oshima's other main masterpiece, IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES, it's just a bit too long. That aside, though, this is a great film.
December 14, 2009
Great creepy ghost scenes, bizarre sex scenes. Beautiful cinematography, but I have honestly never had to endure so much screaming, wailing, yelling and crying in one movie ever. Almost unbearable.
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