For Love’s Sake

Ai to Makoto

Takashi Miike hits you with an awesome riff on Romeo and Juliet, done as a pop musical stuffed with golden oldies from the 60s – and it feels like a kiss.

Even if a screening is sold out, tickets are often available 30 minutes before the start of the film at the box office at each venue.

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  • Director Takashi Miike
  • Producer Takayuki Sugisaki, Masamitsu Washizu, Misako Saka, Miharu Yamazaki
  • Screenwriter Takayuki Takuma
  • With Satoshi Tsumabuki, Emi Takei, Sakura Ando
  • Japan 2012
  • 134 mins
  • Sales Kadokawa Shoten Co Ltd

Takashi Miike does Romeo and Juliet as a 60s pop musical, and it’s as if West Side Story never happened. The storyline actually derives from a much-filmed manga, but Miike gives it the particle-accelerator treatment. The demure, well-born Ai (‘Love’) stumbles upon a street brawl and recognises the scar on one fighter’s forehead: Makoto (‘Sincerity’) is the guy who once saved her from a skiing accident; now a terse, embittered punk. She determines to redeem him by resurrecting his inner goodness. Phase One of her plan is to get her rich parents to pay for him to transfer to the upscale Aobadai High. But Makoto don’t wanna be redeemed... You can only gasp in disbelief at Miike’s inventiveness: performances, design, choice of golden-oldie hits and fight choreography are all beyond ace. This is the kind of movie that hits you, and it feels like a kiss.

Tony Rayns