[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
[ Cast ]
* SAKURAGI Rina MITSUTA Ena
* NAKATA Akira KAWAMURA Yoshinobu
* HIROSAWA So Ai
[ Staff ]
* Screenplay: HORIUCHI Hiroshi
* Editor: HORIUCHI Hiroshi
* Cinematography: SANBONGI Hisaki
* Sound Recording: UEDA Nakaba
* Music: Satomimagae
[ Production Company ]
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
Release Date: November 24, 2012
Running Time: 107 min
Genre: Drama, Feature
Screening Format: Blu-ray
Screen Size: HD (16:9)
[ Story ]
A drama that presents a lively depiction of a woman plagued with unexplainable hearing problems who begins to look at herself in a new light when she starts working at an ear-cleaning parlor. Using ears as a motif, director Horiuchi Hiroshi delicately evokes emotional changes within young people.
As the result of a disaster, Ena (Sakuragi Rina) ends up breaking up with her lover and even suffers the cancelation of a promise of work. As she begins to be troubled from ongoing hearing loss of unknown cause, she finds a job at an ear-cleaning parlor through an old friend. Then one day Ena is reunited with Yoshinobu (Nakata Akira), who is drawn to her beautiful ears.
[ Official Site ]
Ena (Sakuragi Rina) is devastated by the earthquake on March 11. In addition, the boy who slept with her disappears in time of need. Double shock causes her to lose hearing from one ear. He starts to look for a job but between lack of existential planning and physical handicap she can not find anything. During an interview at a company, Yoshinobu (Nakata Akira), a guy who works there, is struck by the beauty of his ear. Ena develops her depressive drift by not caring for herself or her home. Until one day she meets a friend by chance who offers her a job unknown to her by cleaning ears. Contrary to what one might think, it is not a question of sexual performance, but consists more of a listening practice by the client and relaxation by the client. Timidly accepting and soon discovers that she is very good in this practice because of her shyness and kindness that put customers at ease. Meanwhile, Yoshinobu receives a phone call from his mother’s companion, who ran away from home when he was very young, informing him that his mother is dying. Yoshinobu refuses to meet her and wanders around the city. He casually meets Ena, follows him to work, gets his ears cleaned by her and then wipes his ears to her. It’s the beginning of an unexpected story.
The ear cleaner, whose cleansing in Japan is actually more heard than by us and has a whole series of dedicated equipment is the underlying reason for this curious and intriguing film. The ear is what changes the life of Ena, in negative, it is what attracts Yoshinobu (we will discover that the ear of Ena reminds him of his mother, which he caressed when he was small) and yet it is what will change, this time positively, the life of Ena, first with the work and then with the meeting with Yoshinobu.
Between medical visits and relaxing massages to satisfied customers who ask for “extension”, the extension of the massage, the ear, indirectly reminds us of Ena, is one of the barycenters of our psychosomatic life. In fact, customers feel pampered, titillated, can confess, in short, they find cheaply what the mother can no longer give them and that his wife may not want to give.
It is this centrality that Horiuchi skillfully manages to transform into a suffused sensuality that underlies the whole film, including the parts not concerning the ear but in which the main character dresses or wears, without ever expiring in as easy as useless erotic scenes. On the other hand, it is the director himself who tells us through the fake interviews with the women who work in the massage parlor that in reality even the ear massage has become part of the vast and complex Japanese sex industry and that main customers are “men who have the mother complex”, in short, mammons.
It’s curious. So it was for the remarkable Yuriko no aroma and so is also for this film.
Sakuragi Rina is convincing in her naturally mixing shyness and sensuality. Horiuchi Hiroshi is a director still in the first steps but certainly to follow.