Blu Ray Review – In The Realm of the Senses
For the first time here in the UK, the BBFC has passed an uncut version of this Japanese classic from Nagisa Oshima, In The Realm of the Senses
[imdb]tt0074102[/imdb] TITLE – [imdb:title] YEAR – [imdb:year] DIRECTOR – Nagisa Oshima CAST – [imdb:cast] WRITERS – Nagisa Oshima
This film is not for everyone. Even if the title takes the mind off to places of mystery and wonder that trick you into thinking that this is a completely different animal. But make no mistake this is not a film for watching with a new girlfriend/boyfriend or with a parent. It has been regarded for many years as the most sexually explicit ‘ART’ film available in USA. Now released for the first time ‘uncut’ and remastered for Blu Ray in UK by STUDIOCANAL
From quite a simple story; set in 1936 Japan, the owner of an inn, Kechizo and one of his maids, Sada(who is also a former prostitute) fall in love, and not the everyday run of the mill love, NO this is the head-over-heals variety. The couple then embark on a driven sexual journey, finding multiple positions to have intercourse in, sometimes in front of an audience of people. This is it. It runs for pretty much for the duration of the film. Similar to Pretty Woman, well, maybe not, as I do not remember Richard Gere ever doing the things with an egg that is done here.
Constantly on the edge of violence and jealousy, it isn’t the healthiest of relationships, but the moment you think this is all going to kick off and they are going to fight, they end up doing it again! It is a totally self built hedonistic pairing, fancy-free with out a care for the world.
In The Realm of the Senses is perceived as pornographic as it contains both male and female full frontal nudity and the sex is unsimulated. But off the back of this, the film is considered a masterful piece of art house cinema. Rather than using sex as a thrill just present to arouse, it is actually used to propel the story along. Each explicit scene is actually more explicit than the last, which is there to point out the heightening passion and the bond that is growing between the couple, Sada and Kichizo. It is this bond that sends them on a perilous journey trying to meet their partners sexual needs, and also unleashes the green eyed monster, especially in Sada. The film never pushes over the edge into the cheese and distasteful region, this is thanks in part to Fuji and Matsuda who are both entirely believable in their roles.
Despite the heavy sexual theme, Oshima manages to include subtle political agendas. In one scene children are seen waving Japanese Military flags, to symbolize the heavy and powerful influence the government had over the film industry at the time.
One other thing to mention is that this isn’t the snappiest of films. There is a small amount of plodding, but it never felt like it was a drag. Oshima managed to construct a beautiful set that was totally on point with the period. He also had the ability to mix things up continuously through out the film, so there was always something interesting on the screen.
Designed to push the envelope, which it does with gusto, it is hard not to call it a success. Not a film for everyone and the viewers enjoyment will be completely down to their own personal taste.
[starreview tpl=16 size='30']
Next up Nagisa Oshima’s follow up film, Empire of Passion
IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES IS RELEASED ON BLU RAY IN UK ON 17TH OCTOBER BY STUDIOCANAL
Have you seen this film? Would this be your type of film? Comment below…