A dramatic account of three women and their lives, seen through the looking glass of sex, words, madness, death, and family, Guilty of Romance — the new crime noir from the award-winning director Sion Sono (Love Exposure, Cold Fish) — tells the tale of three women entangled in a mystery...a mystery that is the gate to a hell-bound love like no other!
Set just before the turn of the 21st century, a grisly murder occurs in Maruyama-cho, Shibuya — a love hotel district — a woman was found dead in a derelict apartment in the pouring rain. Whilst the police investigate, the story interweaves with that of Izumi, the wife of a famous romantic novelist whose life seems just a daily repetition without romance. One day, to break away from the loveless monotony, she decides to follow her desires and accepts a job as a naked model faking sex in front of the camera. Soon she meets with a mentor and starts selling her body to strangers, whilst at home she hides behind the facade that she is still the wife she is supposed to be.
Bombarding the audience with graphic images and assaulting the emotions with classical music, Sion Sono has produced a movie that provokes all your senses, blending genres of film noir with drama and mystery, and showcasing the directors trademark style and use of vivid colour to portray emotion and mood, Guilty of Romance is the final and most exhilarating part of Sono’s "hate" trilogy.
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This movie begins as if it is going to be a serial killer mystery. It is a much darker movie than the director's previous masterpiece (Love Exposure) with little of that movie's humor and a fair amount of rather disturbing sexual activity. Not a movie for everyone, Guilty of Romance paints (beautifully) a bleak picture of sexual politics in Japan and contains one or two scenes which you wouldn't show to your grandma or anyone of a sensitive disposition but Sion Sono continues to keep the flag flying for Japanese movies that possess the power to shock and provoke thought. Highly recommended (for a certain type of movie lover.)