Friday, April 14, 2023
In his second feature, never before released in the United States, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car) examines a series of intersecting love triangles as only he can, plunging headlong into the exposed-nerve confessions and unrequited attachments among a group of thirtysomethings. The film begins when a couple, Kaho (Aoba Kawai) and Tomoya (Ryuta Okamoto), announce their engagement to their friends over dinner, where it’s also revealed the groom had an affair years earlier. While the two spend the evening apart, Tomoya follows his friends to the apartment of a former classmate (Fusako Urabe, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy) with whom he’s in love and is led into ever more vulnerable and shocking exchanges of emotional honesty. Passion was made as Hamaguchi’s student thesis project at Tokyo University of the Arts, and it already displayed, with clear-headed precision, the director’s peerless gift for elucidating the complexity of modern relationships and their intricate, frequently inexpressible wounds. A Film Movement release.