Tuesday, April 23, 2013

AV Idol

Lap Dancing Queens

This is probably one of the rarest occasions where you can watch something mainstream that's as close to a real AV film as possible on the big screen, and not feel too embarrassed being caught in, say, one of the more infamous cinemas here that has selections like this one as a staple. In fact, AV Idol even has a real life AV idol as a leading star in the film, which means there's absolutely no qualms with the actress in shedding her clothes for scenes, and whatever's being done here also a mere fraction of how far she would have gone.

Face it, nobody's really here to admire the production values, be mesmerized by the sheer acting abilities, or get engaged by its storyline. As some characters quip in the film, these bits get fast forwarded, so there're really there just to make this movie, a movie with a proper narrative structure. In fact, one can just about predict how its target audience would likely turn up in droves to support the film, and for something that doesn't take itself too seriously, why should you too in getting too hot and stuffy about this movie being part of the film release landscape? The production is indeed budget, and the acting quite artificial, and it's really reliant on its irreverent moments to bring on the laughs, as well as bumbling characters put into predictable scenarios that worked some of the time.

The two leading female characters champion this Japanese-Korean production, where AV star Yui Tatsumi plays Ryoko, almost like a caricature of herself, as an AV Idol who has seen better days, but now with her fame a little waning. Her small production company, consisting of a director, cameraman and make up artist, decide to embark on a new adventure, so off they go to Korea to try and make a "documentary", where unsuccessful attempts become fodder for comedy that tried a bit too hard.

The other leading female character is Yeo Min Jeong's Yuna, a K-idol wannabe who takes in Ryoko after the latter got harrassed by fans, and thinks that her chance to stardom would be to follow in Ryoko's footsteps, without realizing her stardom is via the adult channel. So they strike a friendship that grew into a bond, while Yuna enrolls herself with Ryoko's production team to make their "Winter Smata" movie a reality. Thinking that art equals sacrifice, Yuna gets put into a spot where all in the audience will be left guessing whether she would, or wouldn't, immerse herself fully into the AV world.

The story has plenty of scenes that allowed for the supporting act to steal the thunder for the most parts from both actresses, with the bumbling and comical crew having to battle language and cultural barriers, in trying their best to make a movie that would end all AV movies, one with story, art, and of course, sex. And then there are the two AV fan boys who continuously stake out the production venues to catch a glimpse of the stars getting naked. The narrative somewhat faltered toward the final 20 minutes when it couldn't decide how to end it, and did it through a convenient fast forward, but not after a brush with some gangsters whom the troupe encountered rather forgetably, midway through the movie.

You'll learn of some of the examples why people fall into this side of entertainment, but this is hardly detailed, or documentary like. All in, it served to tell a romantic tale, and one of contrast between the romantic fortunes of the two girls, where one is resigned to her profession, and the other, an opportunity to keep her love and sex life private, compared to having to make it public in a trade-off for fame and money. It's rather deliberate how this aspect gets juxtaposed in editing the way it got presented, so that's a bit of care going into the production for you, before delivering the payload that would delight the umbrella wielding uncle brigade.

So for the curious and the uninitiated, AV Idol is perhaps your ticket to get introduced quite superficially into the behind the scenes look at the Japanese adult video industry, get comfortable with its style and star, and to do so on the big screen here before the censors decide to change their mind, as history has already proven.

1 comment:

Rachel Page said...

Interesting post. I agree with most of the things you said.

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