On the floor, Vise has an intriguing premise that’s full of horrific potential.
The Lady (Julian Koike) is an aspiring Toyko mannequin who’s obsessive about the scale of her face. She retains getting handed over for jobs by different ladies who’ve had beauty surgical procedure, although, and her perceived failure is undermining her sanity. Her boyfriend (Naoto Mita) barely notices, however The Lady is commonly catcalled by random strangers and colleagues who yell about her “massive face”.
The irony, in fact, is that The Lady doesn’t have an enormous face in any respect. Vise, written by Nagano and directed by Yasuhiko Shimizu, is a satire concerning the magnificence trade and, by extension, society’s obsession with not possible magnificence requirements and their damaging psychological results. The Lady is repeatedly instructed that she’s good trying and that she wants to seek out and settle for her inside magnificence, however she will’t course of the phrases, a lot much less settle for them.
At some point she follows the indicators to the Manriki Magnificence Clinic, which gives facelifts and bone readjustment procedures. Initially, she refrains from going inside, however after a failed audition and a dinner date with two different fashions (Yumeko Catharine, Risako) that reveals the acute surgical procedures they’ve undergone, The Lady opts to deal with her perceived deficiencies.
Up thus far, Nagano’s script has indulged in a number of lower than grounded flights of fancy, akin to a romanticized encounter with Physician Manriki (Saitoh Takumi) in a restaurant the place he lovingly squishes The Lady’s face collectively whereas they’re bathed in neon purple gentle. When she goes in for her session, nevertheless, Vise takes a flip.
After a session with Manriki, who seems sympathetic, The Lady is left within the palms of his deranged effete receptionist (Nagano) and one other blind affected person (Nobuaki Kaneko). The non-invasive beauty surgical procedure entails the titular vise: the woman is laid on a desk and her head is positioned in a contraption with a crank that Manriki and his receptionist squeeze whereas she screams for assist. The sequence is bloody and uncomfortable, but additionally tinged with comedy as The Lady’s boyfriend (on his personal photoshoot) poses with an erection he acquires whereas listening to her pleas on his cellphone.
If this doesn’t encourage both shock or laughter, Vise is nearly actually not for you. From right here the movie abandons any pretense of horror in favour of surreal comedy. Not solely does The Lady’s face prove trying ridiculous, however she additionally turns into 1) an web meme, 2) a determine of public mockery and three) a dwelling instance of Manriki’s sham medical apply. It ought to be famous that the prosthetics used on Koike aren’t convincing, although in some methods she does resemble a number of feminine celebrities who’ve gone beneath the knife a number of extra occasions than is advisable.
Following her surgical procedure, The Lady turns into obsessive about Manriki, mistakenly believing that they’re relationship and berating him for avoiding her. After a prolonged sequence in a restaurant that originally seems to be organising the subsequent act, Vise then unexpectedly adopts a form of anthology format, abandoning The Lady’s storyline completely to comply with Manriki as he and the vise go on the lam for a collection of episodic adventures with more and more uncommon characters.
The primary – and most memorable – of those is a scorching younger con artist (SWAY) and his 50-year-old “hag” girlfriend (Misuzu Kanno) who try and execute a honeypot rip-off on him. The outcomes don’t go as deliberate, and consequence within the movie’s best violent set piece.
From right here Vise spirals additional and additional into weird imagery and non-sensical plot developments (at one level an enormous mid-coitus bare couple advises a gaggle of vigilantes on a plan of action). Finally, this results in a denouement whereby the great Physician is caught and made to pay for his crimes by the hands of half of the solid, the vast majority of whom at the moment are taking part in their second, and even third, new character. It’s all a bit obtuse and complicated, notably because the movie chugs alongside, abandoning any semblance of narrative coherence in favor of symbolism and visible spectacle.
The result’s a movie that isn’t wholly profitable and is assured to check the persistence of anybody anticipating a simple story. For these prepared to go on a weird experiment, nevertheless, there’s a sure delight to be present in surrendering to the movie’s hallucinatory expertise. Actually, Vise is a visit.
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