The Perfect Education

1999 [JAPANESE]

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 5.6 10 205

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN

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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sharptongue 7 / 10

Pretty good

This film is not really what I expected. Picking up the HK-made VCD from a rack of many HK films, one expected a cheap skinflick with a dash of drama. Instead, it is more an on-the-cheap-side drama with dashes of skin.

Of course the story is somewhat lacking in credibility. However, taking this into account, it is quite involving and watchable. At least for the first half, I was strongly reminded of the John Fowles novel THE COLLECTOR (also made into a film in the 1960s).

The film is mainly played as straight drama, which makes the funny bits even better. Most of the humour is provided by the bunch of oddballs who are the other tenants of the building where the kidnapper and his charge live, and their reactions to what each other does.

Much of the driving force of the story is the question of how long before the kidnapper is discovered and how long before the girl starts to go along with the plan (that she WILL go along with it is never in doubt, despite several weak red herrings which purport to show otherwise).

Given that this film had a Cat III rating in HK, and the subject matter, I was surprised how little nudity there was. The lead actress is of course showed sans clothing quite often, but never full frontal. Even in the shower and sex scenes, the most you see are occasional flashes of tit or bum.

For what appeared to be a fairly cheap production, the acting is very good, and the production boasts a few very well-known actors.

The ending is inconclusive and unsatisfying. Nevertheless, recommended.

Reviewed by dmuel 1 / 10

male rape fantasy masquerading as character study

After recently seeing this movie, I felt I must add some comments, especially after noticing it had garnered a 6.1 overall rating, with two viewers giving respective ratings of 7 and 9 out of 10. I also noted the film had won two awards, according to IMDb, at a film festival, somewhere, in 2000.

I found all of this disconcerting because—in agreement with the critic view on this site from Beyond Hollywood—this is simply an old man's perverse fantasy dressed up as character study. I would hope that no one would take this drivel seriously. A middle- aged man, depressed and alone, decides to kidnap an 18 year old girl with the purpose of "training her for perfect love". He grabs the young woman while she's jogging, drugs her and takes her to his one- room apartment and ties her up. In effect, what he wants is a sex- toy not a real relationship with a live person.

The incredulous aspect of the story is that the young woman, after being bound and gagged for several weeks, seems all too easygoing about the whole incident. She quickly gets over her initial outrage. She is bereft of any sentiment or regard for her family, and eventually seems to begin to accept her situation, even developing an attraction to her kidnapper. Yes, they start having sex, adding to the prurient appeal of the story, but somehow the whole thing seems preposterous.

There are too many problems with the movie's characters to fully convince the viewer of the outcome. There is a clear effort in the story to paint a sympathetic portrait of the perpetrator. And, much as in some of the rape-fantasies of Japanese cinema from the 70's and 80's, the man's masculine power causes the victim to submit and even enjoy the rape. Here, there is no precise rape, but the same idea prevails: women who are sufficiently cowed or subdued submit to the will of the male and enjoy it.

To cut to the chase, as this sort of misogynistic trash doesn't really deserve a longer critique: the older man is successful. Even after he is caught and arrested, the young woman defends him so that his sentence is reduced to a few years, maybe less, in prison. She has fallen in love with her abductor and seems happy to talk about their "great sex". I wonder how friends and family of other young women—particularly those of the infamous Castro incident in Cleveland in 2012—who experienced the real-world horror of abduction for sex would feel about this story. I thought the misogyny of Japanese movies had ended some decades ago, but since this film is apparently one in a series of similar stories that continued into at least 2010, apparently I was mistaken.

Reviewed by mstr_bateman 6 / 10

Funny movie about sexual dynamics

The staggering success of 50 Shades of Grey has once again revealed to the world what women deep down in their lizard brains really want. Feminists will shriek in protest but deep down even they have these fantasies, or maybe even more so. This japanese movie takes this revelation in evolutionary psychology to its ultimate conclusion. Reading the summary I was expecting a far darker film, but it's actually quite mellow and even funny at times. Not bad.

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