Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The title R100 is a joke on the ratings system because director Matsumoto Hitoshi (Big Man Japan, 1997) claims that no-one who has not lived a century will understand this film. Such a pronouncement is in keeping with the striving absurdity of the movie, frequently funny, but ultimately a somewhat laboured litany of craziness.

A docile furniture salesman signs up with a mysterious, private, and philosophical SM club, accepting that for one year shiny leather-clad dominatrices may show up at any time to beat, whip or even spit him into blissful submission. These unexpected encounters are mostly as amusing as one might hope. He's not allowed to cancel his contract, however, so of course that's what he finds he wants to do, once they start involving his child and his coma-ridden wife. Thereafter the confrontations escalate. But there's no humanity here at all – kid can be gagged and hoisted on ropes for laughs - and the pathos of grandpa weeping at his daughter's beside is wasted, particularly given the absurdity of their eventual fates - no more than a sarcastic joke, as it turns out therefore, and so not all that funny.

A more interesting movie threatens to emerge when the title card appears halfway through and we cut to a trio of casual suits (censors? Distributors?), the first of several interludes where they dim-wittedly question a pair of young representatives for the film's 100-year-old director, the group having just watched the section we have just watched. But it's all just another gag, of a piece with the interviews with dominatrices around the "Water Lounge" pool, amusing enough, but with no real metafictional power.

The notion of joy obtained through extreme submission is nicely, if uglily, realised through a simple rippling CGI effect and bulging cheeks (the leached-out color throughout is also strikingly unattractive), and the film's best gag combines those throbbing concentric rings with Beethoven’s recurrent “Ode to Joy” and the stave-like slats of the wooden shed where our hero gets his ultimate kick at the hands of an impressive giantess. The approach to S&M seems to be fearful and sneering, however, rather than approached with fond mockery, which leaves one with a slightly sour taste. A frippery, entertaining enough, but unable to live up to its extravagant claims, which is also an unsatisfactorily self-justifying part of the joke.

d Matsumoto Hiroshi p Keisuke Konishi, Natsue Takemoto sc Hiroshi Matsumoto ph Kaziinari Tanaka ed Yoshitaka Honda pd Etsuko Aikô m Shûichi Sakamoto cast Omori Nao, Suzuki Matsuo, Tominaga Ai, Daichi Mao, Katagiri Hairi, Terajima Shinobu, Katagiri Hairi, Sato Eriko, Watanabe Naomi, Lindsay Kay Hayward
(2013, Jap, 100m)

posted by tom newth at

Tweet This ! (Click On It For Url Shortening) Share On Facebook ! Share On Google Buzz ! Add To Del.icio.us ! Share On Digg ! Share On Reddit ! Share On LinkedIn ! Post To Blogger ! Share On StumbleUpon ! Share On Friend Feed ! Share On MySpace ! Share On Yahoo Buzz ! Share On Google Reader ! Google Bookmark !


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older