Man Woman and the Wall review by The Grim Ringler

Man Woman and the Wall

You ever get something to eat and it’s a little of this, a little of that, something of the other, but none of the flavors are overwhelming so it’s hard to get a feel for what you’re eating? MAN WOMAN and the WALL is a lot like that. A well made Japanese film, this is a solid effort that is just hard to get a fix on, which left me a bit perplexed in the end.

Ryo, a young magazine writer hits it big when he’s able to get a new apartment that has its own bathtub. While not that big, the apartment is nice, and things seem to really be looking up for Ryo, well, other than the fact that the walls of the apartment are paper thin. As luck would have it though, Ryo’s next door neighbor is the beautiful Satsuki, who he becomes immediately obsessed with. A deeply lonely man, Ryo focuses all his off hours on listening to and fantasizing about the girl in the apartment next door, creating a fantasy life, and setting, that is nothing close to the reality of her life. As Ryo listens to her life (via a microphone he’s hooked to the wall), he discovers that she has someone prank calling her and seemingly stalking her. It doesn’t take long for Ryo to suspect that Satsuki’s new boyfriend may have a hand in this harassment and so he starts approaching her and slowly becomes a part of her life. Now that Ryo is in the life of the woman he has been obsessing over for so long, will he find that the reality of her can live up to the fantasy he’s constructed?

I have to admit that this is a movie that really misleads the viewer because it at turns it’s a comedy, then it’s a SEX comedy, then it suddenly becomes a thriller, then a comedy, and everything has that hint of the impending dirty business that is never always there. The crazy thing is that, as confused as the film is, it’s still pretty decent. The character of Ryo, while definitely weird, is, essentially, a sweet guy and so a story that could have taken a very dark turn, never does, which was refreshing. It was nice to see that the director didn’t want to make another dangerous stalker film. The director also does some fantastic things with how things are shot. Who Satsuki, for much of the film, is filtered through Ryo and that really misleads the viewer as to who she is, which is a very nice touch. There are some very silly moments – the twists get pretty silly, leading up to a far fetched, of sweet, ending – but the film retains its heart throughout. I think the thing that will really put off viewers and potential viewers is the tone, which shifts so often that it’s hard to get a feel for what the director was trying to say. The performances are good though, the leads attractive, and Ryo a decent, if perverse, guy. Not something to go out of your way for, but a solid film, for sure and more than just a curiosity.


6 out of 10 Jackasses
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