Erotic sex or dangerous fantasy? You decide! In the most lavish penthouses, visible only through the keyholes, there exists a dangerous and erotic world. High-paid prostitutes who specialize in high-stakes games make the r... more »ounds. The richer the client, the wilder the ride. When fantasy gets too rough for one young call-girl, escaping becomes her reality.« less
"This movie isn't about a hooker, or S & M, though on the surface it seems like it is. Think about the name. Tokyo Decadence. Its about the 1980s and the changes in Japan during that time because of the economic boom. Its about fantasy. Its about what happens when you get "wealth without pride". The clash of the traditional and the modern producing a lost generation. OK, so its not the "best" movie ever, but if you put a little thought into it before you see it, you will get much more out of it. I really liked it though it may not be the most popular of movies. The movie was based on a book . . . so give it some slack."
Darkly touring the ugly side of Tokyo...
Allan MacInnis | Vancouver | 10/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who has read even a few chapters of the novels of Murakami Ryu (ALMOST TRANSPARENT BLUE, COIN LOCKER BABIES) knows he can write about sex and decadence in ways that are both compelling and revolting; he seems simultaneously fascinated by and disgusted with the body and its states, and obsessed with degrading and dehumanizing sex, as well as drug use. This film, following an outcall prostitute from client to client, unflinchingly looking at the abuse to which she is subject to, is very much in line with these concerns, and is beautiful, ugly, and by the end, vaguely hysterical, even surreal. It's fascinating to watch and disturbing at the same time. Note, however, that while it does get pretty graphic in depicting some of this kinkiness, Murakami is not interested at all in titillation, and it's REALLY hard to imagine anyone getting turned on by this movie. Which is not to say voyeurs won't enjoy it -- but voyeurs of the more refined variety, please! People with delicate sensibilities should prob'ly stay away, too..."
Tokyo represents decadence
Theron E. Fairchild | Long Beach, CA United States | 08/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the surface, Tokyo Decadence is a film about S&M, prostitution, drug use, and the odd nature of some people in general. Ai, the lead character, played by actress Miho Nikaido, is a young prostitute trapped in a life with no future, hopelessly devoid of spirit or direction. She wanders through her life only moment to moment, realizing little about herself, having only an intuitive sense of her own misery. Yet underneath there are other elements at work. Tokyo Decadence is aptly titled for it is more about the decadence of material wealth, which Tokyo represents to many Japanese, and the abusiveness and emptiness such decadence evokes. Ai is a victim of those elements, and her lost innocence, emptiness and directionless wandering are the elements of modern Japanese tragedy.Tokyo Decadence has been packaged as a titillating sex film, exploiting the myth of Asian exoticism, especially since the actors are not always acting. But the film is not a documentary and the characters are not typical of the Japanese sex trade, though Nikaido is excellent in her portrayal of an S&M call girl. Underneath the story is a broader theme that is rather familiar to modern Japanese literature and cinema; the surface elements, such as S&M, are vehicles to a larger theme concerning the absence of a soul or inner spirit in contemporary Japanese society. Hence, if you are not turned on by the erotic subject matter, perhaps you were not intended to be.The thematic elements of Tokyo Decadence have been recurring in Japanese literature and cinema over the last century. From the beginning of Japan's rise to modern power over a hundred years ago, up through the present, there has been a popular theme among writers and filmmakers that Japan's soul has become empty or lost in Japan's quest to become modern, powerful, and imitative of the West. Tokyo Decadence is, I believe, another installment in that theme.Having lived and worked in Japan, I understand the elements that Tokyo Decadence presents: feelings of a spiritless wanderer, life lost in anonymity, and of the desire for anything peculiar or unorthodox just to interrupt the cold momentum of daily life. But there is perhaps another theme in the film. It is interesting, in a society as safe and seemingly drug-free as Japan, that sex and violence are so popular among the video renting public; themes such as bondage, S&M and even rape are not unusual for men's magazines; and alcohol abuse, gambling and the sex trade are somewhat commonplace with ordinary Japanese businessmen. Maybe this is not strange to some Americans, but such things are seldom discussed openly in Japan, and Tokyo Decadence just may be a discussion of such things.On a critical note, the film's final sequences tend to be rather confusing or irrelevant to many viewers, especially to those wanting to see a sex picture. Despite the problems, I still defend the final scenes because they express how absolutely pathetic and lost the main character really is, not for some trite reasons of morality, but because she is ultimately void of any sense of self-worth. My only real criticism has to do with the DVD itself, which is a poor transfer of the original film image, though this has nothing to do with the film's story and shouldn't discourage interested viewers."
Pretty hot Japanese bondage erotica
Michael Arrowood | Zirconia, NC USA | 09/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a softcore Japanese bondage erotica film; it contains some scenes that are sure to repulse some viewers, some that others will find extremely erotic. Personally, I thought that there were some scenes that rated high on the orgasm scale... and others were a turn-off. But everyone's taste differs. Essentially the movie is a tour through the Tokyo sex underground. There's no more "there" there, if you get my drift... it's not art, it's softcore porn. There is a "plot" of sorts, but that's mainly just the director's fig leaf to cover the various sex scenes."
Very apt title!
WLR | Chicago, Illinois United States | 01/07/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't really a "movie" in the sense that there really isn't a plot, just a series of episodes as we follow a 22 year old japanese woman through her experiences as a sex worker for a high priced call girl service in Tokyo. Our heroine seems SO naive and innocent. She states that the most important thing that she has learned in life is that she has absolutely no talent whatsoever. All of her professional activities take place in expensive hotel rooms with wealthy clients. All of the men clients have kinky and unusual desires, to say the least, and the women aren't much better. Her co-workers include: her girlfriend who seems normal, a male transvestite, and an extremely fat girl. They each presumably specialize in serving clients with various unusual sexual desires. There are, admittedly, aspects of this movie that I don't understand, such as there are frequently television news reports in the background about various aspects of japanese contemporary society. At one point, she teams up with an older, more experienced young woman who has become very wealthy in the sex business, who spends a fortune on drugs, and whose dream was to become a professional singer. Later, our heroine, while high on drugs, gets lost in a children's park and befriends an older woman, who used to be a well known professional singer, but is now somewhat deranged, and who serenades her with an Irish lulaby!? At one point our heroine consults with a fortune teller who tells her to put a telephone book under her TV, to avoid art museums, and to wear a ring with a pink stone. What is that all about? I don't know."