Plot: Taking place in the early 20th century, the film, based upon a novel by the great Mishima, tells the story of a forbidden love. Kiyoaki realizes that he is deeply in love with Satoko when it is too late, as she has already accepted a marriage proposal from another man.
«Likely, had the author been alive to supervise the screen-writing, it might have been a drastically different film. Possibly, the Japanese audience's familiarity with their own literary history provided the insights into the characters that my own cultural heritage could not. Maybe I should have merely appreciated the tragedy of the lover's ruin for the consumptive spectacle it was; it's not like I haven't loved other doomed romances in the past - Kathy and Heathcliffe, Chocho-san and B.F. Pinkerton, Violetta and Alfredo, Gennosuke and Oboro - but for me Kiyoaki and Satoko's possible fated reincarnation in the next life couldn't come soon enough.»
«As the wickedly contrary Kiyoaki, Tsumabuki gives a precise performance, while Takeuchi skillfully avoids overplaying her hand as the lovestruck heroine. Supports are impressive.
A "planning" credit to the original author's son, Iichiro, indicates the Mishima family still has a controlling interest in the late writer's affairs. Accordingly, yarn's the subtext of a gay love between Kiyoaki and Shigekuni will be invisible to auds unfamiliar with the novel. Sublime score by Taro Iwashiro is well-suited to the drama, but the end credits are backed by an anachronistic contempo song by J-popster Hikaru Utada.»
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