Lost Paradise (Shitsurakuen)
Description: Veteran director Yoshimitsu Morita spins this romantic melodrama that was originally written by Junichi Watanabe and serialized in the Nihon Keizai Shinbum, Japan's answer to the Wall Street Journal. Kuki (Koji Yakusho) is a former magazine editor wunderkind whose star has dimmed as he slides into middle age. After corporate downsizing, he finds himself in an easily forgotten corner of a corporate conglomerate and, at home, in an increasingly chilly marriage. Rinko (Hitomi Kuroki) is an elegant calligraphy instructor who looks quite fetching in a kimono, and is similarly stuck in a nuptial dead-end. Both find solace in each other's arms, but their respective spouses are getting wise to their affair. Rinko's cheese-loving husband sics a private investigator on her, while Kuki's wife uses more intimate methods of divinating the truth. Given the forces that are pulling them apart, they resolve to take concrete measures that will insure they will be together forever. The film's ending features something rarely seen this side of a Monzaemon Chikamatsu play.~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide
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