The War and a Woman / Senso to Hitori no Onna / 戦争と一人の女
Koji Wakamatsu acolytes, Junichi Inoue and Haruhiko Arai, respectively director and screenwriter of Senso to Hitori no Onna, show how far the apples have fallen from the tree of the pinku political pioneer. Set at the end of World War II, the film follows two stories, one of world-weary lovers – dissipated writer Nomura (Masatoshi Nagase) and bartender/prostitute (Noriko Eguchi) – who shack up together and decide to fuck until the war ends and another of a shell-shocked war veteran, Ohira (Jun Murakami), who becomes a serial rapist. The twin stories, ripped from the headlines, ultimately intersect in an unholy and clichéd union. Not a moment of screen time is wasted in portraying tired stereotypes and situations, ultimately telegraphing the fateful meeting of Noriko and Ohiru (note: she likes her sex rough and thus gets off on being raped). Worse, she comes to an emotional catharsis in a fit of vomiting. The casual sexism that pervades much of contemporary Japanese filmmaking gets fully exercised in this execrable piece of crap masquerading as edgy cinema.
Originally published in EL Magazine, May 2013