nat’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sion Sono's Love Exposure has got to be one of the most blatantly original films I've seen in a long time. With a runtime of just about four hours, it's an absurd and energetic experience that never really feels like a drag.
A film like this should not work at all, yet there is a certain vibe that Sono went with here that holds it together. You could give this to someone else but they would just fuck up and make an absolute travesty. Sono crafts a four hour love story with the themes we have seen before, just executed differently. Religion and sexuality, passion and obsession; all unfolding in manner that makes your head spin.
With all of this being spread out over its lengthy runtime, each hour felt like its own. Each having a semi-different tone -yet it doesn't run out of momentum. It's humorous approach keeps the mood lively even through the over the top and melodramatic moments. All throughout the 4 hours i spent with this, i never predicted the next scene and i was thoroughly engrossed in it.
The certain style this had took some time to get used to. At first the camera movements and lighting bothered me, but i really do feel like it's rightfully fitting. It matches the chaotic energy of the story. The visual flair and banger soundtrack bring out the best in the characters. Ridiculous yet charming and they are so damn entertaining. Takahiro Nishijima is an incredible lead, he (and the rest of the cast) perfectly carry this film.
An incredibly ludicrous and ambitious film that only works in the capable hands of Sion Sono. At it's core, Love Exposure has it's heart in the right place, and that is what makes it so good. While i do not think it's a flawless film, its perfect in it's own way. Any other complaints i have would be simply nitpicking.
Weird and unpredictable, perverse and downright insane. 237 minutes full of upskirt pictures and boners (lots of them); but it's 237 mintues spent well. Not something i would revisit often, but i cannot recommend this enough, please do give this a shot!