Tokyo Decadence


Time Out says

Given that, strictly speaking, 'decadence' refers less to hanky-panky pure and unfettered, than to some kind of decline or dearth of moral fibre, it's fair to say that this 1994 film from ageing enfant terrible writer and media personality Ryu Murakami displays as much decadence as do its subjects. Lacking the intellectual, emotional and philosophical rigours of, say, a film by Oshima, this brazenly voyeuristic nonsense is finally as incoherent and unilluminating as it's hackneyed. Docile, a shade timid, and learning the sign language of the deaf, 22-year-old call-girl Ai readily caters to the S/M fantasies of various rich businessmen. She's naive and superstitious, it seems, optimistic and too trusting. Maybe that's why she's taking so long to get over an affair with a married TV celebrity, which may in turn explain why she submits to sadistic demands that put her at risk. To glean even this little from this attenuated 90-minute narrative is to milk it dry. So concerned is the film with leering at Ai's semi-naked body, that plot detail and depth of characterisation are soon forgotten.


Release details

135 mins

Cast and crew

Ryu Murakami
Ryu Murakami, Peter Fernandez
Miho Nikaido
Sayoko Amano
Tenmei Kano
Kan Mikami
Masahiko Shimada
Yayoi Kusama
Chie Seman
Sayoko Maekawa
Hiroshi Mikami
You may also like