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Guilty of Romance(恋の罪)

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Japan · 2011
2h 25m
Director Sion Sono
Starring Miki Mizuno, Makoto Togashi, Megumi Kagurazaka, Satoshi Nikaido
Genre Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

The grisly murder of a woman is discovered in the red-light district of Shibuya, Tokyo. Called to investigate the case, female detective Kazuko is slowly drawn into the dark sexual underworld of the city. Meanwhile, a shy housewife hides her double life as a prostitute from her husband.

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Total Film by

Filmed in garish colours like an explosion in a paint factory, it’s more style than content, but diverting all the same.


Variety by Boyd van Hoeij

There are too many twists, insignificant literary references and drawn-out scenes of sex and violence to sustain either the pic’s running time or its ideas, with Sono’s message obscured in the final reels by an ambiguous treatment of his leading ladies.


Slant Magazine by Diego Semerene

Though it begins with the aesthetic and conceptual rigor of Blade Runner, it quickly veers toward the gratuitous outlandishness of a Bruce La Bruce film.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

Although the film’s dark humor and colorful, thriller aesthetics provide some juicy material at the beginning, its overindulgence in chatter, fornication and occasional gore feels too blatant to make Sono’s social commentary run anywhere but skin-deep.


The New York Times by Miriam Bale

Most disturbing and fascinating is the mixture of Izumi’s liberation with her degradation in this film, which plays like a more horrific version of David Lynch’s “Mullholland Drive.”


Village Voice by Pete Vonder Haar

Mostly, Guilty of Romance seems content allowing characters to verbally abuse each other before eventually reaching the inevitable conclusion that life is a burden and all love is illusory.


The Guardian by Xan Brooks

The pungent, ponderous final chapter of Sono's "Hate" trilogy (following Love Exposure and Cold Fish) bows out with lots of bangs and plenty of whimper.

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