The concluding part of writer-director Sion Sono’s ‘Hate Trilogy’ (following ‘Love Exposure’ and ‘Cold Fish’) sees the remarkable ‘eroto-philosopher’ on slightly weaker form. Transgressive sex and lurid colours vie with poetry and classical music in the most downbeat tale of would-be feminist liberation imaginable. Kagurazaka Megumi reveals all as the dutiful wife of a ‘pure’ romantic novelist who turns prostitute under the guidance of strange academic/ whore Kazuko (Mizuno Miki), while police detective Kimura (Togashi Makoto) investigates bloody remains, in a seedy flat in the sex district of Shibuya. If this all sounds grisly, rest assured Sono’s film feels closer to the compassionate emotional investigations of Fassbinder than it does to horror. The work of cinematographer Sohei Tangawa achieves moments of heightened melodramatic pathos reminiscent of Harry Kümel at his peak, but expresses a sense of mystery and regret unique to Sono’s morally corrective vision.