Love Exposure

Love Exposure ★★★★½

I don't think there's really an easy way to describe Love Exposure; is it a hyper, gore obsessed epic? A religious satire? Or is it simply a romantic comedy? One thing is for sure: Love Exposure is possibly one of the most idiosyncratic, insane and disgusting yet hilarious works that I'll probably get to experience.

Simultaneously one of the most demented and fanatical pieces of film I've ever seen, Love Exposure is nothing short of crazy. It's filled of boys taking up-skirt photos, insane girls with broken families who fight gangsters, and dangerous cults that run freely in the city. From these descriptions, Love Exposure probably sounds like it could be a really horrible film, but it's somehow one of the most engrossing four hour films that most will ever watch; it's not surprising really, that Sion Sono decides to place his title card of his film at almost one hour in, as he probably knows that even if someone isn't exactly invested in the content, the sheer absurdity is probably enough to keep them going.

But of course, there's more to Love Exposure beneath all of the penis chopping, voyuerism and cults - it's also a four hour satire on religion and love. There's so much religion in this film and yet while religion is said to be able to help everyone become a better person, it seems to turn good people into bad ones in Love Exposure - Yu commits "sins" in order to please his father, because his father's version of Christianity is so obsessed with sin that a boy who has never committed a sin has to commit one to be able to continue living on. And isn't it somewhat hilarious that in a world which champions love and demonises sex, the former is never easily able to be found for Yu, while the latter is easily accessible in every shape and form everywhere? He's constantly confused by what is love and what is lust, and what he truly feels, all caused by the forces of religion and the society around him.

To be really honest with everyone, I don't think I can really summarise exactly what Love Exposure is about in words - it's something that you have to experience; it's something you have to see to believe. It's over 230 minutes of madness, gore and wacky comedy, but I'm sure most would be surprised by how fast the time passes even though you're watching a film about trying to get an erection.

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