Hitoshi Matsumoto's R100
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
To say that R100 is an unusual film would be a bit of an understatement given its blend of humor, pathos, the absurd, and the surreal.
I enjoyed it but it’s definitely not to everyone’s liking.
A middle-aged clerk, his life devoted to a soulless job, to a hospitalized and comatose wife, and to a dependent young son, signs a contract with a company called Bondage. The terms: for one year he will be periodically and unexpectedly visited by a series of leather clad dominatrixes who will humiliate, kick, punch, and otherwise abuse him to a point of personal ecstasy. Two rules: he can never touch them and he cannot bow out of the contract.
He signs the agreement and so his new life proceeds. It’s really his old life but it’s now punctuated by visitations that occur when and where he least expects it.
Part of the movie’s fun is not knowing when or where the next humiliation will occur. Nor do we know what particular skill or specialty the next leather clad lady will practice on our hero.
As the movie progresses it becomes more silly and weird. An unexpected plot twist occurs and we begin to learn more about Bondage’s management, the mysterious “CEO.”
Despite the S&M theme and the costumes the movie’s outright sexuality is meager. The viewer must also be prepared to be perplexed. The director is definitely playing with us here and has clearly decided that “making sense” is not a requirement.
Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald