Kabukicho Love Hotel
Directed by Ryuichi Hiroki
Starring Shôta Sometani, Atsuko Maeda, Kaho Minami, Eun-woo Lee and Yutaka Matsushige
This erotically charged drama from Japanese director Ryuichi Hiroki (Vibrator) traces the intersecting stories of a group of employees and visitors at a notorious "love hotel" in Tokyo's red-light district.
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★★★★ review by Anny on Letterboxd
Kabukicho, love hotels, Shota and Tokyo. It's Short Cuts meets a very light pinku film. What's not to love?
★★★★½ review by sitenoise on Letterboxd
This is the Hiroki who cares about what he's doing and brings multiple characters to life. I'd give it a 5/5 except Hiroki never aims that high
★★★★ review by ButtNugget on Letterboxd
Kabukicho Love Hotel… always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.
★★★★ review by schneeland on Letterboxd
In any case, this is a great film.
I wonder why people are referencing Robert Altman's Short Cuts, maybe it's because they know so many American films and believe them to be the status quo.
★★★★ review by Diogo Vale on Letterboxd
Nevermind me, I'm scoring this way too high, but I honestly loved it.
Haven't seen Vibrator so I'm definitely checking that out soon. I really liked Hiroki's style. He mixes still shots with hand-held, shaky camera, the lighting is seriously beautiful and, although I'm not always keen on Japanese mainstream acting, I found Sayonara Kabukicho's cast to be mostly on point (especially the young girl and the Korean woman). The score is very pleasant as well.
Reading around I see some people complaining that these stories aren't realized to their full potential, but I honestly found that Hiroki Ryuchi got a lot out of each of them. They're all touching in their own way and how we keep jumping from one to the other is very entertaining. These transitions are so smooth that they create a flow where it doesn't feel like we're watching X different stories but actually just a single, continuous, character-filled one.
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