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The Perfect Education

Screenplay, Kaneto Shindo, based on the novel "Jyoshikoukousei yukai shi-iku jiken" by Michiko Matsuda. Camera (color), Yasushi Saskibara; editor, Yoshiyuki Okuhara. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Aug. 28, 1999. Original title: Kanzen naru shi-iku. Running time: 99 MIN.

Screenplay, Kaneto Shindo, based on the novel “Jyoshikoukousei yukai shi-iku jiken” by Michiko Matsuda. Camera (color), Yasushi Saskibara; editor, Yoshiyuki Okuhara. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (World Cinema), Aug. 28, 1999. Original title: Kanzen naru shi-iku. Running time: 99 MIN.

With: Naoto Takenaka, Hijiri Kojima, Eriko Watanabe, Kazuki Kitamura, Asami Sawaki, Shigeru Izumiya, Shinya Tsukamoto, Katsu Nagashima, Mitsuko Ishii.

The familiar formula of a comely young girl being “trained” as a love slave by her kidnapper gets pedestrian treatment in “The Perfect Education,” a bland Nipponese item that eschews suspense and character depth in favor of mild sexploitation. Tedious item’s offshore chances are further dimmed by its unpalatable (and unconvincing) insistence on the heroine’s willingness, after an all-too-brief initial spurt of resistance.

Twenty-year-old Kuniko (Hijiri Kojima) is out jogging when 43-year-old Iwazono (Naoto Takenaka), a stationery-supply deliveryman, drugs and abducts her. Waking up in his modest flat, she at first scorns his desire to create a “perfect union of heart and body” with her. But in no time she’s passing up escape opportunities, enjoying a mutual hot-spring trip and surrendering her virginity with chirpy schoolgirl enthusiasm. Broadly comic bits from fellow apartment-building dwellers and several late-arriving sex scenes pad rote progress before an inconsequential ending. Seventy-year-old vet TV helmer Ben Wada imparts no notable atmosphere, style or idiosyncrasy to this puerile fantasy, leaving it little appeal even as voyeuristic titillation. Perfs are one-dimensional, tech package routine.

The Perfect Education

(DRAMA -- JAPANESE)

Production: A Shochiku Co.Ltd. presentation. Produced by Yasuhiko Furusato, Tsukasa Ariyoshi, Marubeni Corp., Tokyo Theatres Prods. Directed by Ben Wada.

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