Monday, August 20, 2007

THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF SACHIKO HANAI Review

THE GLAMOROUS LIFE OF
SACHIKO HANAI (2003)



After being shot in the head, prostitute Sachiko awakens to find herself consumed to learn and digest the works of the great philosophers and thinkers from Socrates to Nietzsche. And on top of that, whenever she begins to explore these thoughts in her head, she becomes compelled to have sex with the closest person, or merely satisfy herself if no one is in arm reach. At first this works out just fine, as she moves in with professor and his wife under the false pretense that she is there to tutor their son. But when she discovers that she is also in possession of a cloned finger of George W. Bush, whose fingerprint can be used to launch a nuclear assault, and that spies from North Korea are after it, her simple life as a sex worker is about to reach metaphysical proportions!

Lulled in by a psychedelic poster with an irrestistable pose and costume worn by main actress Emi Kuroda (which she doesn’t even wear!), I was quite disappointed to find that this movie was nothing more than a bland Japanese softcore "pink movie" with infinite disgust for Bush and the power that he wields.



Star Emi Kuroda, who makes her debut here as Sachiko, has almost nothing to offer whether she is standing on her two feet or lying on her back. Sure, she’ll fix the desire of anyone with "yellow fever", but aside from that the scenes are fairly bland and uninspiring. I was surprised at just how much sex and how many sex scenes take up the eighty-five minute running time, and that most of the storyline is merely a way for the characters to get to the sex (and yes, every main character with lines gets to have sex with Sachiko at least once) . And while the sex itself safely stays in the land of softcore, the multiple money shots are quite graphic and surprisingly out of place.

What is most excellent though, is the vile hatred and the absolute disrespect director Mitsuru Meike and writer Takao Nakano have for George W. Bush. Created in 2003 at the beginning of the Iraq War, the pair mercilessly rip into the overlord role Bush has taken over the world, and the limitless military power he has at his fingertips. It is this fingertip (which is bright "Republican" red with an American flag painted on the fingernail) that starts all of the problems of the movie. In a reminiscent nod to Ash’s severed hand, the finger has a mind of its own and gets into as much trouble as a finger can (which in the company of a prostitute is quite a bit!). Bush, who naturally speaks Japanese in the film and is portrayed by an actor wearing a life-size photo of Bush’s face, is also quite naughty when in control of the finger. And his famous "Mission Accomplished" speech which is re-written here to something more accurate to his thoughts, is almost worth sitting through forty minutes of dull sex to get to.



Sadly, I can’t really recommend this to anyone, and more frustrating, I can’t figure out what audiance this movie is going after. There is a lot more "pink" cinema out there with more vibrant scenes than featured here, and the insane storyline here, which should be its driving force to bring in fans of the bizarre, is absolutely wasted. Ten minutes of inspired Bush-bashing simply is not enough to get this movie out the endless glut of generic softcore flicks.

1 comments:

Geeks of Doom Invade Blogger said...

I kept seeing posters for this one all over lower Manhattan on my way to work, and tried as I might to remind myself to look it up to see WTF it was all about, it would leave my head before I was anywhere near a computer, then nag at me when I was on my way home agaain. Thanks for scratching the itch I didn't know I had! Now at least I know I don't need to ever think about it again.

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