[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
* HIRATA Mikihiko
* NARITA Naoya
* MINATOYA Yasushi
* NAITO Kazuya
[ Cast ]
* SOMETANI Shota TAKAHASHI Tetsu
* MAEDA Atsuko IIJIMA Saya
* MINAMI Kaho SUZUKI Satomi
[ Staff ]
Screenplay: ARAI Haruhiko
Screenplay: NAKANO Futoshi
Cinematography: NABESHIMA Atsuhiro
Music: TSUJI Ayano
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: January,24, 2015
Running Time: 135 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format: DCP,Blu-ray
Screening Format with Subtitles
[ Story ]
An ensemble drama depicting men and women whose lives intersect at a love hotel in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku, from the Vibrator duo of director Hiroki Ryuichi and screenwriter Arai Haruhiko. It stars Sometani Shota, who won the Venice International Film Festival’s Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Talent in 2011 for his performance in Himizu.
Toru (Sometani) manages a love hotel in a corner of Kabukicho. His girlfriend Saya (Maeda Atsuko), an aspiring musician, is under the impression he works at a top class hotel. Meanwhile, Toru’s workplace acts as a staging ground for people engaged in various matters of love and lust.
[ Official Site ]
[ Film Festivals, Awards ]
2014 Toronto International Film Festival
2014 Busan International Film Festival
2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival, Platforms -I See It My Way
2014 TOKYO FILMeX
Author in the early 2000s, although his career has also gone through the eighties and nineties. Some of the most successful Japanese films of the period (Vibrator, 2003) (It’s Only Talk, 2005). Hiroki Ryūichi has recently lost the expressive power that characterized his best works, alternating acceptable works (The Egoists, 2011) (River, 2012) to others that he would frankly prefer not to see (The Lightning Tree, 2010) Crying 100 Times, 2013). Kabukicho Love Hotel, fortunately, belongs to the first of the two categories.
The subject, which partly recalls that of After Dark by Murakami Haruki, takes place within 24 hours and involves a large number of characters all in some way related to a love hotel in the district of Kabukichō (Tokyo). The main couple is the one formed by the young Saya and Tōru. She is a singer who has to meet a major record who could make a change in her career. He has just lost his job in a four-star hotel and has found himself working in his hotel, in the dark of his girlfriend, in a hotel by the hour. During the day that awaits him, Tōru will live in his hotel two unpleasant experiences: the first when his sister arrives that, no longer able to pay for the studies after the parents were victims of the tsunami, decided to earn a living as a pornstar; the second, when, between the clients of the same hotel, the fiancée and the record will arrive.
On tones closer to the play than to the drama – despite bloody events like the murder of a street prostitute – Kabukicho Love Hotel intertwines with the events of Saya and Tōru, those of other couples: there are the cleaning lady and her former lover-band, which hides the house waiting for that, just at midnight, the crime of man falls into prescription. The Korean immigrant couple, with the girl who works in a call center and lends her services to the Tōru hotel; a prostitute hooker who fall in love with what should be his prey, saves her from the racket and ends up in trouble. A comic couple of cops lovers who hesitate in enforcing the law so that their adulterous relationship could be discovered.
Basically everyone seems to have his beautiful skeleton in the closet, without the film – in fact a sort of human comedy – but in any way want to point against an accusing finger. The truth is that in the end everyone has their reasons and that weakness is something consubstantially linked to man.
Kabukicho Love Hotel proceeds at a steady pace, without pauses or uncertainties, but also without upsurge or really strong moments, those able to leave their mark in the spectator. Even sex – which was a central element of the first Hiroki – has here above all an ornamental function. Basically little more than a work of entertainment, quite successful but nothing more. The unavoidable question is: “Will Hiroki Ryūichi be able to recover from the mediocrity of his last works?”