Thursday, 21 April 2011
The film begins with the rather ominous question, "Have you ever done it with your Dad?". Hopefully the answer to that question is no, and if this was a different director it would be slightly jarring but with Takashi Miike it comes as no surprise! It then shows a shot of a young prostitute being filmed through a camcorder. She is making a deal at a hotel room with a man who, after very little persuation, sleeps with her. When this has happened, you find out that the man in question is her dad thus setting the tone for most of the film.
In the next scene we are asked, "Have you ever been hit on the head?". The father is sitting at a station. Behind him is a window in which a man turns up and hits the father over the head with a brick for apparently no reason.
The next scene begins "Have you ever hit your mom?" . The mother is shown in the house, she walks with a limp and is covered in marks where she has been beaten. Her son comes in from school throwing things around the house, then beats his mother with a stick for buying the wrong toothbrush. The father comes home with the stranger who stays for the next few days.
It's very difficult to explain the plot without giving too much away. I'll give brief accounts of the characters while trying not to give too much away.
The mother is a prostitute with an addiction to heroin.
The father is making a documentary with his camcorder about Japanese youth. Later while looking at his old tapes he is shown being raped by a gang of teenagers. He also films his son being bullied for his documentary.
The son is being bullied and fireworks are being fired at his room window by the bullies. When he comes home he beats his mother and seems to have a lot of issues.
Not much is mentioned of the daughter, apart from that she has run away from home and is making money as a prostitute. She does appear at the end of the film though.
The stranger is the central character who eventually brings the family closer together in very unothodox ways.
Basically this film is Takashi Miike's warped view on the typical dysfunctional family. It's supposed to be about the family eventually coming together. The visitor is the central character who comes in and shakes the family up. It seems they are so used to their way of life it has become the norm to them and it takes a stranger to get them to see life in a different perspective.The visitor may make things go incredibly maniacal: necrophilia, multiple murder, hacking up bodies etc, but in the end it is strangely touching and serves it's purpose.