The Forest of Love Review - A self indulgent, gory action drama

The Forest of Love Review - A self indulgent, gory action drama

Considering the non-subtle style of director Sion Sono, the entire film is driven by the performances of its cast including Denden as Kyoko Hinami, Kyoko Hinami as Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Shinnosuke Mitsushima as Shin, Kippei Shiina as Joe Murata, Takato Yonemoto as Goto and Michael Shen as Joe Murata. Directed and written by Sion Sono, the 151-minute film can be reciprocated as a work that is not for the weak-hearted. The entire film runs as a psychotic, sexually charged blood-fest. The fearful drama is narrated through a filmmaker's lens as the plot revolves around two women who get filmed by a con man and his documentary crew, as they uncover darker secrets through their journey. Even though the film feels overwrought on many levels, something is mesmerising about the indulgence. The film has the weird kind of energy that most of Sono's works are known to have. Though far from perfect, it isn't forgettable too. The Forest of Love warrants your attention significantly for the on-screen ease that Kippei Shiina has in his portrayal of Joe Murata. Joe Murata is introduced as a merciless man using his charisma to manipulate people around him. Murata meets Shin and a group of other aspiring filmmakers who feel Murata's turbulent relationship with Mitsuko could be the perfect fodder for their film. The group gets to know each other through the filming stages, discovering each other's truths, lies, sometimes resulting in shocking and hideous acts. Netflix has developed a reputation for coming up with some of the finest passion projects that have been loved worldwide but, this time it has indulged beyond necessity. Sion Sono’s The Forest of Love feels like a work that the director has created to satiate his ego than to tell a proper story. It is reportedly based on true events, a factor that is quite obvious in most films by Sono. The film fails to carry its weight, is overlong, redundant, even nonsensical but is not still boring. However, Sono's fans would have certainly hoped for it to last longer. Rating: 2.5/5


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