How insane can a movie get? (Koi no Mon reviewed)


Koi no Mon (Japan, 2004)

Seen: Sunday, 21st June 2009
Runtime: 114′
Director: Suzuki Matsuo
Cast: Ryuhei Matsuda, Wakana Sakai, Suzuki Matsuo, Hijiri Kojima
Production House: Koi no mon Seisaku Iinkai
Plot: (from imdb)

Live-action adaptation of a madcap manga about art, opposites, love and a whole lot of cosplay.


Impressions In Short
I wonder about the sanity of the people who made this film… I worry about my own sanity too cause I seem to have liked it lol
Oh, and last but not least I think I’m going to have to eat up my words about Matsuda Ryuhei again - he has chemistry with girls after all ;)

More About the Film
It’s the kind of film where anything can happen and I mean anything. I kept having thoughts like “surely what I’m watching is a dream sequence, they can’t just put something like that in so randomly!”, “omg, did he just get a hard-on from that!?”, “no, he’s not going to vomit now, surely!”, “what??? did the owner of the diner really turn out to be an S&M pervert who rapes customers who don’t pay? and is he really wearing stockings?”. To further illustrate my point, perhaps I should add that it’s the story of a guy who is in love with rocks. Every time he sees one it’s like magic. Even by Japanese standards this film is just so incredibly random, but that’s its attraction *grin*
It looks like a pretty low budget production, but it has style. It’s mostly a hand held camera, but it has very cleverly crafted shots (a lot of close-ups and I loved the way the camera moved). I think it’s also the first time that I’ve seen some naturalistic elements in a Japanese film, which just seemed normal. I mean usually they stick out like a sore thumb to me - like they either don’t suit the film or you can feel they were put in very deliberately to shock the audience or something. Here, you’ve got a leading man who looks like he never washes his hair, keeps vomiting at the most inopportune moments and there’s the hand held camera and mostly natural lighting on top of it all and it just fits *grin*
The sexual content in the film is perhaps a little outside of the comfort zone of some people. It’s not really that the film is particularly explicit… it’s just that the scenes of sexual nature are so weird ;) I totally loved them. They were numerous and hilarious (though rather sexy all the same). There’s a great deal of kissing in the film - every kissing scene is totally different (Hollywood kissing is so boring by comparison ;-P). They range from very coy pecks to quite the contrary. And then there’s all the awkward attempts at intercourse, which totally cracked me up.
Ryuhei is hilarious in this (he’s such a total pushover!) and again very different to what I know him for. I’m appreciating his body language more and more, he can clearly do a great deal with it. The body language he chose for this was quirky and rather exaggerated, but it still looked very natural.
It was fun seeing Wakana Sakai in this as well - I know her from Kimi Wa Petto (as Fukushima). And actually the whole cast was really good. It was a difficult film to do. They were all sort of balancing between doing the really exaggerated Japanese comedy kind of thing and yet not making it look too fake (with a plot like that it’s a huge challenge!). They miraculously managed - the characters are somewhat human ;)

Cautiously, but I would recommend it, yes *grin*
I really enjoyed it, but it’s probably too wacky for most people. Anyone who needs plots to follow some sort of structure or logic will have problems with this.
However, anyone who likes very crazy comedies and doesn’t mind plots with absolutely no logic whatsoever would do well to give this a shot :) And for Ryuhei fans this is an absolute must!

Leave a comment