Rocky Ibarra’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was wrong about this film and saying that feels shameful. I have watched the best of the best, essentials from many countries but none of them were like Sono's Love Exposure. Just the energy and excitement that comes along the scenes are electrifying. A modern classic. And I'm not going to talk about the aspects that proved me wrong anymore. Today's review is more than just constructive criticism. This is a confession.
At first, I despised Tarkovsky's Stalker. I thought it was pretentious and 'artsy'. I was also afraid that I wouldn't understand the story. So I felt that there was no real aspect left for me to take in except for the outside parts specifically sound design and cinematography which in my first viewing of the film already had me drooling. Andrei Tarkovsky was not for me back then. I appreciated its contribution to world cinema, but never liked it. Was it the style? The slowness? The shot lengths? The dialogue? Random color shifts? I really couldn't tell. Months later, I re-watched. A masterpiece.
The point is, I jumped to conclusions too fast without ever actually trying to pay attention. I thought Stalker was boring because I never connected with the characters and the setting. I thought it was 'artsy' because I've seen nothing like it before. My judgments were wrong and never justified. The same case with Love Exposure, the only difference is that it only took hours for me to forgive the look and style while it took months for me to love Stalker. That 1 hour build was awesome. Not scattered, no holes. Everything was covered in 4 hours and I think filmmakers today should not be embarrassed to maximize their time in setting up developments and points for the story to come full circle.
Watch Love Exposure because it is worth your time and you trust in the evolution of film, being more open to unconventional styles and creative filmmakers who are willing to take risks not for controversy but artistic vision. Watch. It. Now. I command you. Now.