Hitoshi Matsumoto's (Big Man Japan & Symbol) comedy-fantasy, R100, follows the life of the salesman Takafumi Katayama (Nao Omori) who is secretly into S&M. He joins a secret club called 'Bondage' and agrees to their one year contract: to be surprisingly beaten my dominatrices at random locations. However, he must always be passive and the contract can never be canceled.
Katayama's wife is in a coma and now is a single-father of young boy named Arashi (means storm in Japanese, which is already a denominator of what he wants to feel). The beating scenes are quite funny and, at times, you are left wondering if they really happened. You can't help but think that this is his way of punishing himself for not having control on the situations happening in his life.
The film does a great job making the viewer feel on edge as we don't know when the next beating will happen. At every encounter, you feel Katayama transcends into a happier place while being comforted by the expected pain he signed on to feel.
Part of its surreal comedy, there is also a subplot about censors _ discussing the exact film we are watching _ and finding it incomprehensible to give a rating. This is where the title R100 comes in: they propose to rate this film as suitable for people over 100 years old.
Screened at Sundance, R100 is exactly what you would expect from a director like Hitoshi Matsumoto, a wacky story with a good sense of humor. If you don't take it too seriously, you will have a good time.
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