Hearing and Desire
Daitokuji31 | Black Glass | 07/31/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Kawase Ryo is a young wrier for a small publisher's magazine for which he mainly writes about what is going on in Japan's underworld. Not quite yet raking in the money, Ryo is happy enough that he has made enough money to rent an apartment that possesses his dream object: a bathtub. However, there is one thing with the apartment that would prove to be a bother to most: the walls are paper thin. Yet, this proves to be a boon for Ryo because he soon becomes obsessed with his neighbor, a young woman whose every move he can hear. Be it when she goes to the restroom, drinks a beer after a hot bath, or makes love to her boyfriend Yuta, Ryo listens and often masturbates to the images of his neighbor that float through his mind.
After a bit of snooping, Ryo learns that his neighbor is named Sugiura Satsuki, played by the former adult film star Aoi Sora, whose beauty and impressive "talents" drive Ryo wild and he soon goes to greater lengths so that he can spy on Satsuki such as sending her boxes addressed to himself so that she will have to bring them to his door and having a friend set up a better system so that he can listen to her clearer. It is at this point that Ryo learns that Satsuki is being stalked by someone else whose intentions are far less noble than Ryo's.
Man, Woman, and the Wall is a Pink Film, pinku eiga, whose main point is to titillate its audience. There are several scenes within the short film of Aoi Sora bathing and dressing and also a few scenes of intercourse with her boyfriend Yuta which can be quite heavy at times without showing any naughty bits. It would be easy to toss this film into a pile of other Japanese softcore porn titles, but there are some instances that makes Man, Woman, and the Wall stand out and that is the subject of voyeurism.
Oftentimes within the film, Ryo imagines himself within Satsuki's room watching her bathe, brush her teeth, and eat. In these early scenes, before Ryo actually knows what Satsuki's room looks like, he pictures it as being ultra girly with tons of stuffed animals and bright colors. Therefore, he is a bit surprised to discover that her room is quite plain. Ryo falls in "love" with the image of Satsuki that he has created within his own mind. An image that is so strong, the real beautiful and busty Satsuki does not live up to his expectations. This aspect makes the film an interesting critique of reality versus fantasy is a softcore film format."
A slightly perverted escapist film...
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 07/27/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"TLA is known for their variety of Japanese sex titles, but every once in awhile they manage to distribute a slightly above average demented title.
This one follows two young strangers that share the same apartment wall and how their lives become horribly intertwined. Our main male character discovers he can hear/eavesdrop on his new female (and beautiful) neighbor, played quite well by Japanese sex actress Aoi Sola, as she lives her day to day life. Instead of being mellow about it, he becomes obsessed, the kind of scary obsessed that involves sound equipment, schedules, charts, stalking, garbage searching, etc. Just when you think this film might go down the exploit lane, they twist it around and create some relationship building you do not see coming.
The acting is par, sometimes painfully forced, but once you see the end scene, it all played for a reason; that in the right people finding each other. Aoi, is a beautiful lady, and plays her difficult sexual role very convincingly, and would really be the only reason to watch this film. The DVD has a decent making of docu, and the transfer is interestingly a 1.77 ratio."
Man, Woman and the Wall
Amit Talpade | New York | 12/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This feature is in Japanese but with English subtitles. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Ryo moves in to an apartment and finds that the walls of this apartment are quite thin and he is able to hear the sounds in the apartment next door. The apartment dweller is a young and beautiful woman who works two jobs. Ryo becomes obsessed with this woman and spends his time eavesdropping on her. The woman next door has been played by Aoi Sola is Satsuki, who has been getting threatening phone calls from a stranger. These phone calls cause her to be drawn closer to her boyfriend, who changes from a caring person in to a weirdo and the eavesdropping neighbor Ryo starts having genuine feelings for Satsuki which she slowly starts reciprocating..... There is a twist in the plot which I would not reveal but has to be seen. Great acting from all characters, amateurish photography but the movie was good so you can overlook this flaw. The nudity is in excess so this movie is not for kids. Three stars 12/30/09"
Sexy, Erotic, Sora Aoi is Such a Sight to Look at...But Fall
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 06/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Japanese pink films have the uncanny ability to maintain "art house" themes while blending in pure weird exploitive elements. "Man, Woman and The Wall" is a Japanese pink film by Masashi Yamamoto and stars av-idol Sora Aoi. It is somewhat a light-hearted, kinder side of pink cinema, but it no less exploitive than others. Oh, I recently reviewed a "chick flick" so allow me to re-establish my twisted mind. Oh, this movie stars sexy av-idol Sora Aoi--so do I have your attention yet?
Ryo (Keita Ono) is a young magazine reporter who had just recently moved into a small apartment with thin walls. The walls are paper thin that he can hear almost everything that goes on in the next door apartment occupied by a beautiful young woman named Satsuki (Sora Aoi). Eavesdropping becomes a habit for Ryo that he can listen in to the details of his neighbor's life; her conversations, her phone calls, when she bathes, even her moans when she makes love to her boyfriend Yuta (Hiroto Kato). Ryo's fantasies escalate to love and passion. Meanwhile, Satsuki becomes increasingly afraid because of the bizarre phone calls she gets almost every night. Now when Ryo and Satsuki finally meet and begin a friendship, reality and fantasy intertwine, a simple harmless prank may just lead to the unthinkable.
Japanese cinema seem to look at kinky cinema and perversion in a very different way than us in the West. Ryo's behavior may seem downright creepy and unsettling to U.S. audiences, but director Yamamoto manages to make his character interesting and need I say it--a little humorously likable? Yamamoto goes to the mystery stalker angle that gives the viewer the idea that Ryo is the harmless kind, and that there are real perverts that may be hanging around in our everyday lives. Ryo is the lonely guy, and often he has nothing else to do after work, he fantasizes on his next door neighbor, as he sees her in a very different way and rather a little cartoonish as displayed by Ryo's fantasies about how her apartment looks. It was colorful and vibrant, while in real life Satsuki's apartment is simple and extremely drab.
Satsuki is your typical girl next door type, and while Ryo sees her as this voluptuous conquest, sex siren Sora Aoi plays her as one sympathetic character. Satsuki went through a lot of difficulties, she works two jobs and sends money to her family. The real Satsuki is so different from the "sex object" imagined by Ryo. It's a clever trick to expose the protagonist's perspective and to have reality crash down on his fantasies. Yamamoto wisely films some of the scenes of Ryo and Satsuki somewhat "imaginary and cartoon-like" as when they are seen in the same room ONLY in Ryo's mind. When the two actually meet, the shots are made in a minimalist manner, to emphasize realism.
Now, this is a pink film, so expect a good share of gratuitous sex scenes and even full frontal nudity. As with most pinku films, this movie blows the ones seen in late night cable out of the water. The usual "pink" sex scenes are on display, as Sora Aoi is seen in her birthday suit, as well as the infamous "pinku" style of hand inside the panties. The sex scenes are long, titillating and erotic, the Japanese knows their stuff when it comes to exploitive scenes and Sora Aoi being an av-actress, seems to be very comfortable with the scenes. The acting is rather uneven, and some parts of the acting is downright laughable, but Sora Aoi manages to steal the show with her acting skills as well as her outright sexiness.
"Man Woman and the Wall" is a story about love and lust, obsession and betrayal. I know that this type of film relies on titillation, shock, exploitive sex that leans on an "art house" theme, but this is where the film falls a little flat. The film is very predictable, while delightful in its simplicity on some aspects, the characters were too average to really make this film a memorable art house affair. The sex scenes are good but falls a little short to be truly remarkably exploitive. It had that "cute" tone to it, that fans who liked "A lonely Cow Weeps at Dawn" and "Sachiko Hanai" may find themselves looking for more. It is somewhat of a let down when it comes to provocative material.
The movie is good and passable but so far from becoming great. The film doesn't really manage to do anything different or inspiring in an art house theme, the film is a little flat. It's too cute to be real guilty pleasure and never manages to make me feel dirty; and for me a pink film should be able to shock with a good storyline.
Recommended! To Japanese pink film fans, a rental for everybody else. [3- Stars]
The TLA release is letterboxed at 1.78 ratio with 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese track. Good picture but somewhat contains more grain on some scenes.