Release Date: July 10th, 2010
Duration: 104 mins.
Director: Yutaka Yamazaki
Writer: Yutaka Yamazaki, Yuki Sato (Script),
Starring: Makiko Watanabe, Sakura Ando, Sola Aoi, Arata Iura, Renji Ishibashi, Miyako Yamaguchi,
Torso tells a tale of a woman whose life is troubled by men. The film’s hook is understanding how she mediates this trouble through her cohabitation with an inflatable male mannequin torso. The reason why she would choose an inanimate object over a flesh-and-blood person is gradually revealed when her younger half-sister moves into her apartment over the course of a hot Tokyo summer. This disturbance leads to an unearthing of traumas that create a pathology explaining why a woman would avoid men.
We follow Hiroko Katagiri (Makiko Watanabe), a 34-year-old office lady working for a fashion house. Katagiri is not one for dates, for mixers, for being picked up in bars because she is not one for meeting men. She is quite content with leading solitary life, her only companion being the limbless torso which she treats in some ways like a boyfriend, albeit an undemanding one. Living solo she cooks what she wants, drinks wine whenever she likes, and can relax in freedom. The question of how she ended up like this is brought to the fore with the arrival of her more flighty half-sister Mina (Sakura Ando) who comes seeking shelter after fleeing her abusive boyfriend, Hiroko’s ex.
Like water and oil, the two aren’t that good at mixing as Mina, a budding fashion video director is the younger, prettier, and more popular of the two, with both men and their mother, and she flaunts it. As Mina unsettles Hiroko’s routines the older sister faces up to traumas that have shaped her life such as how she lost her boyfriend to Mina and a dark family past and so, as odd as the hook of living with a torso is, that becomes secondary to understanding Hiroko and her problem with men.
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