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M (A Married Woman) 
Written by: on August 10th, 2013

Theatrical Release Date:
Japan, 2006
Director: Ryuichi Hiroki
Writers: Hisashi Saito (adaptation), Seishu Hase (novel)
Cast: Miwon, Kengo Kôra, Nao Ohmori, Miho Ninagawa

DVD released: July 16th, 2013
Approximate running time: 110 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Japanese
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Asian Media Rights
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95

Synopsis: A woman’s moment of infidelity leads down a path of deception, depravity and ultimately death.

M (A Married Woman) was directed by Ryuichi Hiroki, who’s other notable films include Tokyo Trash Baby and Vibrator. The screenplay for M (A Married Woman) was adapted from a novel written by Seishu Hase, who’s other novels that have been adapted into films include Fuyajo and The City of Lost Souls.

What sets itself up as a story about a lonely housewife who seeks the attention she craves by having an affair. Quickly turns into a far more sinister tale about how the decisions one makes shapes their destiny.

Though the title suggests that this film’s about a woman and her affair. This film is actually a tale of two cities, albeit two very similar populated cities.

First there is this film’s protagonist a thirty something married woman named Satoko. On the surface she leads the idyllic home life, while burrowing underneath the surface is broken woman who has a left one moment of indiscretion forever change her destiny. The event is question involves her having a one night stand with a man who then becomes her pimp by blackmails her and forcing her into a life of prostitution.

And then the other main narrative thread revolves around a young man named Minoru. As a boy he grew up in an abusive home where his father often beat his mother. Until one day when he could not take it anymore and he would go onto kill his father. Unfortunately this event put a strain on his relationship with his mother and him.

Along the way these two tortured souls cross paths and what follows is an eruption of blood soaked cathartic carnage that ultimately sets both of them free from their pasts.

As you can clearly see there is a lot going on in this film and to try to sum it up it’s plot in a few words would be doing it a great injustice. Also besides the events which I have revealed in that lengthy synopsis it should be noted that the film does a good job adding more layers of depth to the story ay hand and the journey of its two main characters.

As mentioned the subject matter can get pretty brutal at times, especially the moments involving Satoko on the night her pimp blackmailed her. Equally disturbing is a scene where Minoru and a gang of street thugs rape his mother.

Visuals are strong throughout and pacing is never an issue. Performance wise the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. And though this film’s two leads Miwon in the role of Satoko and Kengo Kôra in the role of Minoru deserve a lot of credit for just how well things play out in the grander scheme of things. This film’s most memorable performance comes from Tomorowo Taguchi in the role of Satoko pimp. Ultimately M (A Married Woman) is yet another bizarre melodrama from the land of the rising sun that superbly reinforces the vast differences between eastern and western cinema.

The DVD:

Asian Media Rights presents M (A Married Woman) in an anamorphic widescreen that retains this film’s intended aspect ratio. Black levels generally look weak and lack any consistency. Flesh tones and colors look accurate and details during brighter scenes look crisp  throughout. There are no issues with compression and edge enhancement is minimal.

This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included with this release. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.

This release comes with no extra content and a static menu that offers up three options play, chapter selection and subtitles on / off. Overall M (A Married Woman) gets a good audio / video presentation from Asian Media Rights.

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