Air Doll

IMDb Rating 6.9 10 5,278


Downloaded 39,491 times
April 5, 2019


Doona Bae as Hyeon-nam
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
995.66 MB
23.976 fps
125 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.87 GB
23.976 fps
125 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by naonak 8 / 10 / 10

The Death of Innocence

Hirokazu Koreeda takes a look into the abyss of Japanese society and paints a deeply disturbing but true picture of human beings who replaced their real lives into a state of mere existence. Solitude and emotional repression, ironically enough, in the country with one of the highest population densities and material goods ad infinitum. A study of cultural constraints. Our protagonist (Du-Na Bae), masterfully chosen, is the newest excretion in the line of goods to blow some of that sexual steam off: an air doll with a washable rubber vagina. Her owner (refreshingly serious comedian Itsuji Itao), a lonesome waiter uses her as a substitute for a girlfriend, bathes, talks and of course - has sex with her. One day she awakes and discovers that she has grown a soul and begins her first tiny steps in a hostile world, without any prejudice or knowledge of the environment surrounding her. First enthralled and joyful to find all those wonders of life, she is soon crushed by the empty bitterness of people. A fallen Amélie, powerless before the unloving societal apparatus. In Japan, there is a socially acknowledged system which consists of the Tatemae (homogenous, polite, superficial and carefully considered not to break in one's boundaries) and the Honne (one's "real" personality/ intentions). This seemingly schizophrenic social obligation produced monsters in industrialized 21st century Japan and this film shows us some of their victims. Live your lives! Be you! Appreciate the little things! Talk to people!, although slowly paced, the pictures flickering on the screen seem to shout in your face. What may sound ridiculous and hard to understand for American/European audiences, Japanese reality needs exactly those words. Although I do not agree with some artistic choices on a personal level, I cannot stretch how much I agree with the message of this film. With increasing alienation and mistrust of people even in western societies, I am sure you can pick something up for yourself, look over frontiers and "crazy japs sticking their dicks in plastic wtflulz!!1". Definitely worth your while.

Reviewed by Howard Schumann 10 / 10 / 10

A sweet, sad fable about the loss of innocence

Korean actress Bae Doo-na is superb in Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda's latest film Air Doll. Shown at the Vancouver Film Festival, Air Doll is based on the Japanese manga The Pneumatic Figure of a Girl and tells the story of a life-size inflatable doll used as a sex object for a lonely waiter who finds a heart and becomes a real person. The film is supported by the enchanting photography of Mark Lee Ping-bing who worked with Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wei in In the Mood for Love, and poetic images abound. When the film opens, Hideo (Itao Itsuji), returns from work as a waiter and begins a conversation about his day and everything seems normal until we discover that he is talking to a doll propped up in bed that he calls Nozomi, (the name of his former girl friend). Though she is a mannequin, he tells her about his life, gives her a bath, dresses her, and has sex with her each night. One morning, Nozomi (Bae Doo-na) wakes up and finds her heart and is transformed, at least as far as appearances are concerned, into an ordinary human being. Displaying the innocence of a child, Nozomi, dressed in a French chambermaid's uniform, goes out to explore the outside world and finds out what it means to be human (and how society treats women), picking up patterns of speech from neighbors, but comes home each night to resume her roll as the compliant inanimate doll for her master. Nozomi soon lands a job in a video store and quickly learns about movies though she has never seen one and develops a friendship with the attendant Junichi (Arata), while continuing to believe that her only function is to provide sexual pleasure. Promoting the idea that everyone is empty at their core and must be fulfilled by the companionship of others, Koreeda introduces a host of minor characters such as an old poet who feels betrayed by the world, the doll maker who created her, a woman fearful of being left alone, and a bitter old woman. Junichi abruptly learns about Nozomi's non-human status, however, when she falls and pricks her arm and all the air is drained out of her. In a very erotic scene, Junichi inflates her by blowing air into the plug in her stomach and their relationship is sweet. Nozomi discovers, however, that being half human and half doll is not fulfilling and wishes to become fully human but cannot find anyone to help her, turning to her maker (God?) for assistance. Air Doll is a sweet, sad fable about the loss of innocence and Bae Doo-na is funny and touching in the role of a childlike doll in the tradition of Pinocchio. While it is valuable to view the world from a childlike perspective and discover once again, for example, how beautiful the stars are, having a mannequin eventually become a mirror of humanity's dark side serves little purpose. Yes, life is ugly and beautiful, sad and full of joy, but this is hardly a revelation. The film, which took nine years from planning stages until completion, has important comments about alienation in the modern world, but at two hours the simple premise is stretched too thin. Koreeda makes the point repeatedly about the emptiness of humans, forgetting that cities are home not only to lonely, alienated, and empty people but to brilliant, fulfilled, and compassionate individuals who contribute much value to our world.

Reviewed by Kenji Chan 10 / 10 / 10

Move Thee Reviews: A Fractured Fairy Tale about Soulless City Life

Air Doll is a poetic, unhurried, beautifully shot and poignant movie which may remind you of Lars and the Real Girl, Artificial Intelligence, Enchanted, Cyborg She, Pinocchio and Toy Story, yet it distinguishes itself by its poetic quality and focus on the emptiness of city life. Indeed, city dwellers resemble sex dolls. Lacking souls and uniqueness, they can be easily substituted by others. Nozomi's sex with three different men exploiting her and treating her as a substitute is one of the examples. Degrading themselves by treating each other as functional objects, they will be forgotten once they become useless. A dead person therefore is depicted as a piece of garbage. Moreover, some city dwellers prefer to live alone and sometimes they feel lonely. The movie reminds us that humans should have companions. DVDs gradually replacing cinemas also indicates that people nowadays prefer solitude. Apart from these, city slickers value money and sex more important than soul and love. For instance, a man prefers an air doll to a real woman and even a little girl prefers a ring to a doll given by her mother. Despite the gloomy atmosphere, the movie reminds us of the cycle of life which consists of not only downs, but also ups. Although plants wither in winter, they grow in spring. Perhaps we should learn from Nozomi who tries to appreciate every moment of happiness, be it fleeting or lasting, for instance, gazing at stars and even a raindrop, admiring the breathtaking scenery in the city, embracing a man she has a crush on while riding on a motorcycle, etc. Indeed, Nozomi is already happier than other real human characters in the movie. Starring as an inflatable sex doll with a soul, Korean actress Doona Bae (The Host, Linda Linda Linda) gives a convincing and dazzling performance in this Japanese movie. The audience will be amazed by every nuance of her expressions / movements and the daring naked scenes. The renowned Taiwan cinematographer Mark Ping-bing Lee (In the Mood for Love) succeeds in capturing the mood of this lonely city by often panning his camera slowly to observe loners. The dreamlike music by World's End Girlfriend also adds much purity, mystery and melancholy to this fractured modern fairy tale. Although the plot would become more substantial if other minor characters were further developed, they help illustrate how lonely and alienated humans are. After seeing this haunting movie, one may leave the cinema with a heavy heart and a deep sigh, trying to feel one's long-lost soul and pondering on the meaning of ephemeral life. Hirokazu Koreeda is one of my favorite directors and his previous movies like Maborosi, Nobody Knows and Still Walking are highly recommended.

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