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A fashion company wants a new spokesperson for its prorduct, preferably
a sports champ who looks good in swimwear - but since existing champs are
expensive and usually divas, they decide to turn young, pretty and
promising golf player Reiko (Yoko Shiraki) into a tournament winner within
a month, using the most rigid training methods - which make her frequently
colapse, even. Eventually, she wins the tournament, but that's not the
beginning of a wonderful golfing career, but of a career as a TV
Reiko soon moves into a new, upper class neighbourhood with
her brother Jun, whom she more and more neglects due to her career.
Eventually, she meets her neighbour Senboh, who's obsessed with her, but
Reiko at first shows little interest in her. Then though, Reiko's abusive
manager/boyfriend Miyake injures Senboh in a hit-and-run accident, and
from now on, Senboh knows she has Reiko in her hand, and she throws
parties at her house, tries to take over her TV show and the like. Miyake
tries to use brute force on Senboh to make her stop, but she only has him
thrown into prison.
Senboh's obsession with Reiko grows more and more
out of hand, so much so that she forces Reiko to sleep with her own
husband ... but eventually, Reiko's brother Jun appears as a sort of
underaged avenging angel, and he shoots everybody dead - including his own
After ten years away from the big screen, A Tale
of Sorrow and Sadness marked cinematic eccentric Seijun Suzuki's
long-awaite comeback ... and to be quite honest, the film is a bit
of a disappointment. Granted, it might not be as bad as most critics make
it sound to be, after all it is a mean farce on sports and mass media that
hits all the right marks at least most of the time - but it's no more than
that, Suzuki's personal directorial style is mostly missing here, is
visual excesses and out-of-bounds inventiveness. Instead, we are treated
to something that could just as well have been a made-for-TV movie,
something that essentially perfectly hides it has been made by an
exceptional director. Still, I might want to repeat, it's not the worst
movie ever, just not the film worthy of Suzuki's comeback. Fortunatlely,
the man got back to his old form again with his next movies ...