Review by Sean Bugg
Rating: (2 out of 5)
Sunday, 10/14/2007, 9:00 PM
Feature presentation, $10 at Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Japanese with English subtitles
POOR SONOKU. Stifling in her marriage, she takes an art class only to be picked on by the teacher. But there she meets Mitsuko, the daughter of a wealthy local businessman who has family troubles of her own. When Mitsuko pairs with Sonoku in a plot to escape an arranged marriage, the pair embark on an intense and bizarre relationship that threatens to be the end of them — and everyone around them.
While it’s being offered as some sort of Japanese camp offering, Manji isn’t nearly the hilariously over-the-top outing you may expect. It’s certainly over the top, but you won’t find much reason to follow it there.
Well, unless you’re into some major lesbian sex scenes, in which case you’ll have plenty to enjoy — particularly since the go on and on and on, oftentimes with bizarre sound effects that make love bites sound as if they came straight out of Dawn of the Dead.
Titillating as it may sound, Manji ends up boring and flat all the way through to its melodramatic ending. — SB