Netflix Movie Review: The Forest of Love

Netflix Movie Review: The Forest of Love

Netflix Movie Review: Masterpiece Or Filth? Netflix’s New Japanese Film Is A Magnificent Mess
Netflix Movie Review: The Forest of Love
Movie NameThe Forest Of Love
DirectorKippei Shina, Kamataki Eri, Hinami Kyoko, Mitsushima Shinnosuke
ActorSion Sono
Ratings

Rating: * ½ (one and a half stars)

For the want of a better way to describe this repugnant revolting piece of hedonistic art , I’d say The Forest Of Love is  a monstrous  epic . Those familiar with  the director’s  deranged  filthy  overview of suburban life the inexcusable  excesses  of The Forest Of Love  come as no shock. For  the uninitiated, this film is  enough to put you off Japanese  cinema for at least  five years. Not to mention the serial-killer genre  for  a lifetime.

The  Forest Of Love is  a demented savage  story of a suave  and smarmy (yes, characters  in a Sion Sono film can be both simultaneously) serial killer Joe Murata (Kippei Shina) who charms his way into a well-to-do  respectful Japanese  household where the patriarch is so obsessed with  propriety that he  urges the speeding ambulance  to silence  its siren as it  arrives  home after his daughter tries suicide.

Into this  repressed home, comes Murata seducing and fornicating his way through every woman in the  household  from the mother to the youngest daughter. Murata’s main focus of savage seduction is the elder daughter Mutsuko(Kamataki Eri) who  will later collude with the  psychotic seducer  and his chief accomplice, a film buff named Shin(Mitsushima Shinnosuke) who plays the role of  a brutal catalyst  in this  dreadful drama of  unbearable violence and savagery.

 This film is certainly not for the weak-hearted.  As the mood gets progressively brutish and  morbid,  we  have scenes  showing  murdered people being ritualistically  cut up, and  put  through the blender. So high is the level of depravity  celebrated  in  the film that it left me with  serious  apprehensions  about the  mental faculties  of  the  filmmaker. 

No normal  right-thinking artiste can  think up, let alone  execute the stomach-churning violence. It’s not only about what  one  human being can  do to others. It is also about cinematic licence. In fact a character comments on  the freedom cinema  offers  to get away  with  anything. How far  has  that freedom been  abused  by  Sion Sono?  I leave that  for  viewers to decide.

While the  level of  savage toxicity  in this lengthy film is exceedingly high, the coherence level is  abysmally low. There is a  whole large segment  in the first hour before the gore-fest begins where Mutsuko , in a  flashback, is seen  preparing for a  same-sex version  of Romeo & Juliet in school with her giggly hyper-ventilating friends.  Just how this segment connects with the story  of  a con-man/serial killer who charms his  way  into women’s lives and then abuses the hell out of them , is beyond me.

So  is this great art or simply self-indulgent  filth? I was sickened  by the  violence. Great  art doesn’t do that.

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