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Cream Lemon

Posted by martinteller on May 1, 2013

Ami (Chiharu Muraishi) is a high school student, her stepbrother Hiroshi (Kenji Mizuhashi) is in college.  Ami’s mother and Hiroshi’s father actually ended up together because their children were such good friends.  Both parents go away on business trips, leaving the two to take care of themselves.  They gradually become aware that each has feelings for the other.  Succumbing to their taboo desires could have dire consequences, but young love (and lust) won’t be held back so easily.

I keep hoping for a Nobuhiro Yamashita film as great as Linda Linda Linda.  This isn’t it.  But it’s not bad.  It’s based on a popular 80’s hentai.  For the uninitiated, hentai is erotic anime.  That is to say, smut.  There’s nothing pornographic about the movie (some very very mild nudity) but Ami and Hiroshi do have a lot of sex.

While part of me wishes that Yamashita had explored the psychological/ethical dilemmas the protagonists are facing a bit more, perhaps it’s better that he takes a more observational approach.  Ami and Hiroshi never discuss the implications of what they’re considering — and eventually doing — but the hesitation and conflict is written on their faces.  A simple scene of the two watching a movie becomes charged with sexual tension.

The film ends on an ambiguous, emotionally resonant note.  We’re not sure where these two will end up, but each seems changed from the experience.  The movie is somewhat insubstantial (it runs for a lean 75 minutes, and not a lot actually “happens” in that time) but has an odd resonance.  I’m not sure yet if it’s deceptively light, or if I’m deceiving myself that there’s more beneath the surface.  Rating: Good (74)


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