Guilty Of Romance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Guilty Of Romance Reviews

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February 23, 2012
Sick as fck but awesome
½ February 13, 2012
More sexual insanity and perversion in the final part of Sion Sono's "Hate" trilogy. A truly grotesque murder is investigated in between scenes of the mental decline and most splendid nudity of the sensationally breasted Megumi Kagurazaka. There's some beautiful poetry too. Japanese culture at its best.
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2012
Another twisted tale of sex and murder in the east and here Tokyo. a story of a housewife devoted to making her husband very happy by making the home and services perfect, although there is a problem, hes away all day and its sexless and void of emotion, and its here she decides to get out there, and working fiunds her wild side especially concerening sex, and eventually gets involved with very seedy charactors, the main perrformance is fantastic and crazy moments do kep it going, it is a bit long at times but overall very interesting.
January 23, 2012
While Guilty of Romance is not Sion Sono's best film, it is an endlessly fascinating examination of the depraved and often misunderstood world of prostitution. What is always fascinating about Sion Sono's films is that he loves playing with these moral expectations and manipulates them into something completely original that bucks the perceived expectations of the viewer. A strange and bizarre film, Sono uses this story of a shy housewife foray into depravity as a way to comment on the psychologically archetype of the female on both societal and primal levels. The films psychological study of the pure power of desire and humans ability and inability to contain or control it is really quite fascinating. Out of all of 'Guilty Romance' is his first to really focus on the female psyche and this film has some fascinating female characters. I could see how some people could find the film unfocused, but this is a raw filmmaker who has created a raw but detailed exploration into passion, love and desire even if it does go a little overboard at times.
dietmountaindew
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2012
guilty of romance is adapted from a true criminal case happened in tokyo at the end of nineties. it happened in the love-hotel district where prostitutes and adulters hanged around. the woman's body was decapitated and her limps mutated to be restitched with a sex doll. japanese crime-noir director sino sono re-invents the story loosely based on the true event, and it becomes guilty of romance. if tossed in the realm of comparative cinema, guilty of romance could be a japanese version/interpretation of catherine deneauve's belle de jour for sharing the element of middle-class prim housewife suddenly going slutty for a curious taste of sweet debauchery, a swallow of the forbidden fruit.(mockery on bourgeois hypocrisy) except it's blended with lots of gory blood dipped in semen, incest and murder as well as a dose of unfulfilled plantonic lesbianism.

from the version i view (there's still another version un-available in my region), there're two major stories concerning two women's descendences into corruptions: a housewife and an university literature professor. the movie adapts an intertextual reference of kafka's castle to anchor the psyche of female transgressions since the ultimate victim(literature professor) in this picture has an obsession with kafka's castle, and she even compares the love-hotel district as a castle of lust where people're entangled by the excess of desire. as for herself, she's bounded in a continuous relationship of incest with her father, who's also a literature-professor and his favorite book is kafka's castle until his death. the film creates a sense of disturbance by the dichotomic juxtaposition of classy etiquettes and seedy circumstnaces. mahler's symphony n. 5 is played throughout the picture in one soft-core pornographical scene after another as an attempt to give the course of human decadence a refined poetic interpretation. "welcome to the hell of love" is a slogn loudly announced in the picture as one woman acts as the mephistopheles who introduces another (faust) into the domain of self-acknowledge, a journey of exploring her darkness within, testing the depth within the abyss of her lust. in other words, how low a woman could descend in her wild pursuit of sex? it's about two seemingly proper and dignified women's lives at night, volunteering to do street-prostitution for the sake of pleasure.

despite the crime in the film seems misogynistic, like an outrageous violence against woman, whose genital is brutally hollowed out, whose head is deprived to be assembled with a dead object (plastic sex doll). it does sound like an expression of extreme hatred toward the woman, and inevitably the premise would guide you into one of those american serial killer movies where gender-cide is a prevailing topic. (thanks to ted bundy and ed gein, texas chainsaw massacre) but it's NOT. this is a crime scene devoid of man, a psychological torture-chamber between the womankind since the killer in the end is the professor's mother who resents her daughter for monopolizing her husband's affections. all the women here are trapped within the castle of love and lust, which are in the peculair "circle of human feelings" where lust is permissible as long as you don't violate the rules or trespass the boundaries (according to ruth benedict's book on japanese ethnology "sword and chrysanthemum"), something not to be measured by the puritanical/christian standard of the west. but in this case, what these women are guilty of is not lust or love or romance (the english translation is quite catchy indeed, but also confusing), but the crime of failing to discern the boundaries between them. universally, isn't it what film noir (or any kind of noir) is about? the protagonist's dysfunction to discern between love and sex, often entwined in a romance without love, or deeming the object of your lust as the goddess of your ritualistic human sacrifice.

(ps) this movie changes my impression of japanese females..
the women in this picture are just SO sensual and sexy..one of them is just SO voluptuous. of course, she is also former model of some erotic photography. (which means not your typical girl-next-door lily man adores..but a special case...i simply ADORE special case in almost anything! ha)
January 1, 2012
Extraña película japonesa donde el sexo y la lujuria son la base de todo lo que sucede despu (C)s, desde el amor inocente a la locura, algunas actuaciones dejan mucho que desear sin embargo el tema es algo escabroso, se puede ver
December 27, 2011
Sion Sono's films are enjoyable when he only aims to entertain. When he tries to be deep, he absolutely fails.
December 20, 2011
A submissive, domesticated and sexually repressed housewife caters to the perfectionist needs of her arrogant husband. She is awakened and liberated sexually when she takes a job modelling in her spare time and begins to loose her grasp on reality and her own identity by thrusting herself into a world of depravity, prostitution and self destruction. Beautifully filmed in garish colour schemes, it's more an explosion in style than content with a few literary references thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately it's a muddled, overblown mess. I didn't really care for any of the characters. I found it's tedious, laboured and overly long scenes starting to grate on me as did the baroque and classical music which seemed to groan on continuously. Guilty of Romance has several interesting half-baked ideas and wildly confused messages behind it, rather than being a more concise and developed whole. However It does at times make for an interesting look at a Japanese culture predominantly associated with sexuality and patriarchy. The film would be a drag to watch were it not for the truly stellar acting of it's two female leads, Megumi Kagurazaka and Makoto Togashi who are both superb.
½ December 9, 2011
love it or hate it. A typical Sion Sono movie.
3,5/5
½ October 20, 2011
Feeling trapped in her marriage to a successful writer, Izumi finds freedom doing some modeling, which soon leads to her discovering extra-marital sex. Here she meets Mitsuko, another woman leading a double life, professor by day, street hooker by night. Beginning with a grisly murder, the resulting investigation exposes the descent into darkness for these two women. Sono(TM)s recent output has been the best of his career, and whilst Guilty Of Romance is another well crafted film, especially the sound design, the mix of explicit sex and violence on display is quite disturbing and unsettling at times making for an uneasy watch.
½ October 9, 2011
Well that was weird...
October 8, 2011
'Guilty of love' or Guilty of Romance? One sounds rather better than the other, more mysterious. (Less accurate?)

The starting voiceover sounded as though details being given about district with the greatest concentration of love-hotels were in spite of boredom ('romance-hotels' doesn't sound quite right - and 'love', anyway, is a poor euphemism), but maybe it was just meant to sound a matter-of-fact tone, perhaps as a bid (they did regularly crop up, not usually successfully) to wrong-foot the viewer.

Maybe, having left only 70 minutes in, I am not in a position to judge, but this film just seemed like a whodunnit, and a not particularly interesting one (except for students of mutilation), but one with (attempts at) embellishments. Attempted, because the Effi Briest, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, The Kreutzer Sonata sort of neglected wife with a boorish husband (and / or otherwise unhappy marriage) was only one sort of springboard into this 'adventure' for Mitzuko, and it was neither followed up, nor very convincing (e.g. the absence of her pre-existing life, except when - exceptionally awkwardly - some friends are produced and invited around for tea).

The stupid husband seemed, from what I could judge from the subtitles, to be a celebrated writer, but actually, despite his airs, of Mills & Boon (perhaps where the romance comes in?), or maybe Alan Titchmarsh. (By contrast, Sleeping Beauty did not need an such excuse, and went straight in, not even via touting hot sausages in a supermarket, but with a proper waitressing job that was not enough to finance university and lifestyle.)

Then, along with that Australian film, we move off into the territory of Buuel's Belle de Jour (frankly more challenging, after all these years (1967), than either), but only as a build-up for sexual liberation generally and, specifically, a cheap laugh about how doing a porno-shoot with a stud makes one better at offering hot sausages enthusiastically (those scenes, in themselves, were surely a surprise to no one, least of all Mitzuko).

And that leads us into the domain (no going back) of casual sex, dressing differently / seductively, and the love-hotels about which we were so carefully told before. After that, and an autopsy complete with maggots, a crime scene with violently coloured pink paint, and a sex-scene in a show with the odd paint capsule thrown in, does one care much about where it is going or, more importantly, how it is going there?

Well, I didn't, but I cared even less to hear what I am fairly sure was Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and Bach's works for cello accompany all this, and that, apart from not being interested in how it unfolded, was my main impulse for leaving. (Perhaps the incongruity would have been less for those who were unfamiliar with this, even so, admittedly well-known music, perhaps not, but it turned the switch to 'off' for me.)

Or was this really an attack on the culural imperialism and globalism of the western world, disguised as a film? Certainly, there was little evidence of the restaurant and retail chains that dominate most cities. Certainly, we were being shown a culture particular to Japan in the love-hotel. Certainly, the western music of the baroque and the nineteenth century was being challenged to stand up against the most graphically demanding of bedfellows (and thereby proved that Bach is not, after all, strong enough to survive any treatment, even if that of Jacques Loussier were not enough to demonstrate otherwise), so maybe...

Still don't care!
September 26, 2011
Easily the weakest of Sono's "Trilogy of Hate" (which includes the excellent Love Exposure and the dark and brutal Cold Fish), Guilty Of Romance is at it's best an often hilarious deconstruction of Japanese traditionalist culture and chauvinism and at worst, a meandering, confusingly edited, existentialist adaptation of many idea's central to Kafka's The Castle. Unfortunately, this heavily cut theatrical edition has clearly removed most of the footage revolving around the initial murder mystery (an idea that is seemingly dropped after ten minutes) and instead focuses on Mizuno's journey from submissive housewife to philandering whore. Incredibly witty at times, and interestingly shot, this film really deteriorates in the last thirty minutes, Sono's technique almost unbearably repetitive, confusing and pretentious. Sono drives those points home with all the subtlety of a sledge hammer, and then proceeds to bludgeon your dying enthusiasm over and over, long after the idea has been processed.
September 26, 2011
Sono thinks nothing of staging cackling, cacophonous, wackily lit and framed scenes in which the women are coaxed into giving up their bodies, and the viewer realises we've come a long way from Naruse and Mizoguchi, even though the themes of these directors - chiefly, the oppression of women in a patriarchal society - remain much in evidence here... He yields a fairly astonishing performance from real-life glamour model Kagurazaka, straddling the nice girl/nympho divide with a commendable lack of inhibition; re-viewing her first and final scenes, it's difficult to believe this is the same actress, and Sono is clever in engineering the character's lowest points to coincide with her most conventional acts, warping even the everyday in her gradual spiral downwards. Certain aspects are less successful. In the two-hour European release cut, the murder-mystery angle is underdeveloped, and barely appears to go anywhere, in part, one suspects, because Sono can't bring himself to consider anything as procedural and linear as a Marple or Poirot case; you may also take away from "Guilty of Romance" no more than a general sense that Japan is pretty f**ked-up, where the more expansive "Love Exposure" and "Cold Fish" permitted marginally more complex responses.
September 21, 2011
A nice looking movie with disturbing sex scenes. Sort of funny although I'm not sure if that's OK.
September 21, 2011
Kovasti on yritysta, mutta ei taa nyt oikein... Kestoksi on jostain syysta tassa, IMDB:ssa sekä R&A:n katalogissa ilmoitettu tuo 144 minuuttia, mutta festivaalin ohjelmakartassa ja teatterin todellisuudessa leffa kesti vain 113. Ehka kadonnut puolituntinen tekisi tasta jotenkin tolkullisemman.
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