Air Doll (2009)

Coming from storytellers of a high-context culture – the story-telling experience is very different from what you usually expect from mainstream cinema.

The story, at first, feels subtle but unfolds as a complex mix of characters, interactions, and emotions. Present in manner so simple that it unfolds without challenging ‘the reality sensors’. And then it hits you deep (not hard, just deep – that’s Japanese Cinema). The subtle symbolism in the story makes the film all the more intellectually pleasing.

Hideo (a middle-aged waiter) lives with an inflatable sex doll named after his ex-girlfriend (Nazomi). For some reason, that doesn’t shock me. It might seem funny at first – a guy with his perfect girlfriend – she will never have issues and will always be eager ready to have sex. But soon enough you know he is not very different from some deep part inside each of us.

Then Nozomi, the air doll, finds a heart and all heaven breaks open & all hell breaks loose!  She goes on to discover the goods, the bads and the uglies of life – and you get to see the world around you with shockingly innocent eyes.

All she sees is not bad – there is hope, there is love. Hope that she will grow old, she will die, she will live. And then there is love that is breathed into her.

She knows that she is just an empty substitute, and that hurts – because she has a heart. She is actually alive, growing old and dies. For one without heart cannot even die. Without a heart; everything is so mechanic – a substitute.

People with cold hands have warm hearts.

Subtle yet complex & deep-hitting story-telling. Seen and told from a shockingly innocent & neutral point-of-view.