Starring: Naoto Takenaka, Hijiri Kojima, Kajuki Kitamura, Asami Sawaki
Director: Ben Wada
Studio: Enter One
About This DVD
43 Year-old Iwazono's method of finding love is perhaps a little unorthodox. He hangs around by an abandoned canal until the bespectacled young schoolgirl Kuniko jogs past, then chloroforms her and handcuffs her to the bed of his ramshackle bachelor pad. As is to be expected, the pert young lass is at first a little unsettled to find herself waking up in the clutches of this 'hentai' (pervert), but Iwazano has more noble ambitions for her which he outlays over the breakfast table the following morning.
Many years ago Iwazono indecently assaulted a co-worker of his family business and was forced into marrying her by her family. A few years later his wife absconded, taking their children with her. Ever since this seminal event he has hankered after just one thing; a completely mutual, all-encompassing relationship; a 'perfect union of heart and body'. There's just one thing missing however - a willing partner.
Of course the idea of a slightly unhinged man imprisoning a virginal young 'ideal' female is hardly new in cinema, though previous variations on the theme have at least had some underlying concept behind them. William Wyler's 1965 adaptation of John Fowles' superior novel The Collector explored the inherent dramatic and psychological issues of the situation. Yasuzo Masumura's Moju (1968), in which a blind sculptor attempts to reproduce his captive as a perfect work of art drew cinematic parallels with the creative process, while Pedro Almodovar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (Spain, 1990) was a deliriously camp black comedy calculated to confront conservative notions of good taste head on.
A Perfect Education is essentially pitched as a mainstream romantic comedy in which captor and captive end up head over heels in love with one another. It seems to have no real agenda other than as a straightforward light-hearted drama and whereas it would be misleading to extrapolate anything more about Japanese society and sexual mores from such a matter-of-fact interpretation of the scenario in this adaption of the novel Jyoshikoukousei Yukai Shi-Iku Jiken by Michiko Matsuda, it's obviously not an approach that's going to appeal to everyone.
Political correctness aside, however, it does have a couple of things in its favour. Naoto Takenaka, best known for his astonishing turn as the frisky-footed IT support guy from Masayuki Suo's brilliant ballroom comedy Shall We Dance?, and the perky young tarento Hijiri Kojima make for an attractive pairing. More surprising perhaps is the involvement of such an established industry heavyweight as Kaneto Shindo who directed the two atmospheric horror classics Onibaba and Kuroneko during the 60s.
|Audio Format:||DD 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Stereo|
|Video Format:||Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)|
|Availability:||Usually ships in 5-10 days|