A series of mishaps occur overnight at a love hotel located in the famous Kabukicho red light district, where people with shady secrets and conspiracies flock to. Toru, a young hotel manager who is understandably distraught when he encounters two unexpected guests. The first is his girlfriend, an aspiring singer who's agreed to sleep with a music executive in exchange for a record deal. The other is his sister, an actor in the porn shoot on the hotel's second floor. Before the night is through, many more characters — including a young Korean woman working as a "delivery girl" in order to raise the money to open a shop back home — will experience surprising, life-changing events in these busy hallways and bedrooms.
Cast & Credits
As a film that tackles the complicated side of romantic relationships, Sayonara Kabukicho is an "artsy" film that is sometimes slow-paced but never boring. I enjoy how the story explores the different circumstances of, and relationships between, its characters. Each has their own missteps, their own problems, and it is nice to see this film's take on "taboo" topics (prostitution, cheating).
Each couple/pair that visits this love hotel has their own sins, and thus their own secrets, and the degree to which they suffer really comes through. Each of the characters' internal struggle is beautifully conveyed, and that's what wins me over.
Moral of the story is, "In pursuing everything, you lose everything." Thankfully, it's not a one-note sob story with the sole purpose of being a tearjerker; rather, it takes these trials and tribulations inherent to human nature and exhibits them in a very real, very raw way. I felt quite introspective at the end, hahaha ^^
I have no complaints about the acting, which is a pleasant surprise considering how Maeda Atsuko's previous works were not particularly worth praising...
The music in the film I enjoy tremendously. Perhaps I just enjoy heart-rendering ballads, but I was especially taken with Maeda's acoustic tunes, and the theme song that plays at the end of the film.
I don't usually enjoy human dramas or movies because they're often so real they're boring, or made with the only intention of making the audience cry, but I had a very pleasant experience watching Sayonara Kabukicho. Highly recommended to anyone looking for something a little different!