Guilty of Romance starts off with an investigation into the brutal murder of a prostitute. All the signs of a serial killer is there, with the hack job and perfectly positioned limbs alongside those of a mannequin, which was an event loosely based on true crime that shocked Japan. However, the story itself doesn’t start there… Guilty of Romance follows the story of Izumi, the perfect wife to a renowned Japanese author, but she’s been neglected sexually and she’s kind of bored of the everyday routine. She decides that she will take a job at the local shopping centre, just to pass the time, this is where Mitsuko picks her up for a modelling job… but all is not as it seems. She quickly becomes trapped in a downward spiral of sexual exploitation, not because she’s forced, but because she wants sexual gratification. Mitsuko also leads a double life, by day she’s an assistant lecturer at a prestigious university and by night she’s a low-class hooker, selling her body and living “the dream”. Izumi is her apprentice and she wants all the things that Mitsuko has in that double life… be careful what you wish for.
Guilty of Romance was such an intriguing and fascinating film that I couldn’t stop watching it. Two completely different worlds are shown, one where the prim and proper women face the day and another where it’s all about becoming someone else to let go of the troubles they seem to have to deal with inside. This is a very depressing film, showing the things women has to deal with on a daily basis with being perfect when it comes to the ones we love. There is a certain way women are supposed to be in any society and it’s a stressful situation to find oneself in, however, Guilty of Romance also shows the downfall for women who wants to escape that perfect little world for only a few hours a day. It’s a hyper-intelligent film that showcases sex in its most hated form… prostitution.
Director Sion Sono has been very busy this past year with other films like Love Exposure and Cold Fish and he said that Guilty of Romance was the final film in his “hate trilogy” actually. I have not had the opportunity to see the other two films, but if they are actually deemed better than Guilty of Romance, I can’t wait! Guilty of Romance has magnificent female leads in Makoto Togashi and Megumi Kagurazaka who plays these difficult parts to perfection (the layers of these characters are so extremely complex, it’s amazing how well they pulled it off) . They look absolutely gorgeous on-screen and they are certainly actresses we need to keep an eye on.
I guess the theme of this film is “be careful what you wish for”, because Izumi puts so much into wanting something exciting in her life that she manages to destroy everything she already had. She realises things that she didn’t want to realise and has to deal with the consequences of trusting a complete lunatic, who apparently had daddy-issues. Like I said, it’s a brilliant film and those who feels there isn’t a meaning behind the movie should look at it from a female perspective. It’s really an intelligent film, not for those who would rather like to see a Katherine Heigl flick and certainly not for those who just wants random porn (in fact, there’s no penetration shown in this film whatsoever). It’s depressing and you’ll feel really depressed for the characters afterwards, so unless you like cry-wanking, this isn’t the film for you. However if you are in the mood to get your foreign film groove on and get a hold of Guilty of Romance (legally), you can go open an account at Bounty Films, which is basically a video on demand streaming site. Here you can rent or download films for a small fee AND you can pay with paypal.