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17
3.9 out of 5 stars
Air Doll [DVD]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2013
I dont think this film is everyones cup of tea, but its one of the best Ive seen in a long time. As other reviewers have noted the packaging does not really give a good indication of the type of film this is- making it look almost like a porno or a comedy. There are some quite dark comedic moments in the film but it is really a sort of observation of the meaning of life. Ive watched this 3 times now and Ive noticed different things in it each time Ive seen it. Also- I have to say that the actress playing the Doll is very very good. This film also gives a very accurate portaryal of modern Tokyo for people interested in the city. Definately a keeper.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
I have just watched this film. It is without doult a film I will watch again. This film is only the sort of film that could be made in Asia, Hollywood would try and fail The story of a doll coming to life is a fairy tale but with the lead actress Bae Doona giving a performance of such depth and a truely good supporrting cast it makes the tale beliveable. This is up there with a film like "The Road Home" as a truely great piece of Asian cinema. Watch and enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2014
Beautifully acted and written, AIR DOLL is a fascinating depiction of a young woman who is reborn.

I have watched many films over the years and have never seen anything quite like 'Air Doll' before. Without being exploitative or crude, the film uses the image of a blow-up doll to explore themes of love, sex and isolation in a powerfully human way.

I was honestly reduced to tears by the end of the film. The final act is shocking and culminates the journey of a young woman who is ultimately searching for an answer - what does it mean to be loved? To be happy? To exist? She feels blessed with a physical change but she struggles to adapt to 'normality' and is endlessly seeking FULFILMENT.

I am thrilled to have discovered this film. Doona Bae gives an award-worthy performance as a character with a dual identity, and the story is truly touching (and relatable on so many levels).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2013
As a fan of the new wave of quirky Japanese films, I'm happy to take a punt on most things. And the description of this film is pretty far out there. An inflatable sex doll comes to life and engages in a bittersweet romance. But that is not what I found and Amazon's description is a little misleading and does not do the film justice. This is not quirky pink skin flick stroke love story; instead it is a very serious and sad art film about the meaning of life. Given my own surprise, I thought I might write a few words to let you know what you get.

This film is a low budget one with an art house aesthetic. It is slow, claustrophobic, and quiet. The only special effect - a very minor one - is saved for the final scene and it is very understated. Instead, the film is an exploration of the meaning of life, love, loss, and loneliness. It is a thoughtful, philosophic film that forces you to think about your own life.

The story is very straightforward. An inflatable sex toy comes to life and enters the world as a young adult, but in a childlike state with no education or understanding of matters. She tries to make sense of things, but is seduced by the beauty surrounding her. Anything new and unusual catches her attention. After this initial fascination, she meets a range of people who help her reflect on the purpose of living. The film gets darker and darker in its contemplative mood and by the end, I found it heart breaking and deeply moving. One of the saddest films I've seen in many years.

In case you're wondering, there is a healthy dose of mainly female nudity and sexual intercourse throughout the film, but no front bottoms. It seemed appropriate given the subject matter and had a naturalistic and unself-conscious feel. I thought the level of nudity was well judged because it gave you a genuine sense that you are watching real `people' and real events.

This film really took me by surprise. I was expecting a quirky pink movie, but instead saw a very serious and reflective art house film about the meaning of life. It left me quite moved thinking about serious themes in my own life. I'm not quite sure I know what the film's message is, but the strength of the film is that I'm still thinking about it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2013
Pure cinema. One of the most beautiful films I have since for a long time. Do not let the initial thought of the film being about a sex doll put you off. It is heart warming, tender and sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
One of the best movies i have ever seen... I was lucky enough to see this film at the london film festival and it received a well deserved round of applause.. I would recommend you see it
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on 16 November 2014
Very interesting Japanese film that I felt could have been so much better then it was.

An old man buys a blow up rubber dolly, and then when he is out she comes to life and starts to explore the world, sometimes with tragic, sometime with very funny results.

The performances are all that are required and the story nice enough, but it just never took a hold on me, which is a pity as I was looking forward to watching this for a long time.

An OK film but that is about the best I can say about it, sorry
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on 8 February 2015
This is not a porno film. The inflatable doll comes to life and gets a job in a video store. It tells you a lot about Japan and probably more than you want to know about inflatable dolls. The doll almost becomes human but in some area is still a doll. The actress playing the doll is very similar looking to the doll. Her life is cut short when she is replaced by a new doll.
I enjoyed this film and would urge people to watch it as something different from the Walt Disney Pinocchio.
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This is a rather strange film about an air doll - blow up doll - who comes to life - to say much more would spoil what is a strange but touching film that brings up a whole multitude of questions about love reality commitment self giving exploitation and what it means to be real and or human.Could have been tacky but strangely its not.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2012
This odd haunting Japanese film gripped me from start to finish but was actually very long at 2 hours in length. It plays out like a Twilight Zone episode but pads out with slow scenes, painful dialogue and shoegaze acting and patient camera work. The acting is all up to main protagonist Bae Doona who is an inflatable doll that comes to life. The first scene shows the perverse lonely owner having a conversation at the dinner table with the doll he calls Nozomi, and then takes her to bed. It is uncomfortable viewing as the doll really looks lifeless and made of plastic with staring eyes and frozen expression. When the doll moves after the man has finished with her the next morning, it is chilling. The doll turns to real life Doona and she looks like something from an Anime film. She is beautiful, inquisitive, and hopelessly lost. In secret she ventures outside and in wonderment walks around the city experiencing new sensations; the smells, the textures and conversations are all fascinating through her eyes. The camera follows her into a DVD store where she actually gets a job as an assistant. There she meets a fellow assistant and they fall in love. He finds out she is a doll when she snags herself and air leaves her body. In an eroticised scene the assistant blows through her plug/ navel and breathes air into her body. Later this act would backfire and turn both their worlds to darkness.

I do not wish to give away anymore but the film does descend into some very dark territory that surprised me as the opening half is actually quite poetically beautiful. The cinematography is sumptuous and lovingly focuses on the doll's expressions and bewilderment. The story is a take on the Pinnochio theme, Nozomi even meets her creator in a Blade Runner like scene, because the doll wants "more life", to be a real girl and discover real emotions. It is sad when we see her staring at all the plastic bodies realising she is only another toy for someone else's pleasure. The film is a fractured fairy tale but it is definitely designed for adults. One specific scene is quite disturbing with visceral imagery that has stayed with me for a while. Also the movie has an air of hope but is nevertheless infused with a depressing worldview; that the world can offer nothing but hopelessness unless you are willing to succumb to the system and integrate into the life that has been mapped out for us. There is an existential theme on our rights to exist or die, and the cycle of life and death are explored in powerful thought provoking scenes. The theme of discarding burnable garbage is prevalent, as is the theme of finding a heart that causes us to lie and feel pain. The film is overall melancholy, depicting soulless citylife and the emptiness of loneliness for those who are different. Nozomi is just as lonely as her owner and it is a sad state of affairs when she finds herself replaced so easily, almost like a divorced woman seeing her husband with another woman. The film may make a statement of empty relationships and disposable love, like burnable garbage.

The movie causes us to question the big questions of existence, our purpose, what is life and the human condition. The ending is poignant and quite moving with some misce-en-scene of surreal imagery that may be interpreted in a number of ways. It is not family viewing and Doona spends quite some time of the film in her birthday suit, but it is never overdone and her sexual encounters are as empty as a prostitute's. There are some powerful scenes that show Nozomi awakening to humanity but the understated performance of Doona is the real drawcard to this oddity; she is elegant beauty. A one of a kind film, better perhaps than other doll obsession movies such as 'Lifesize', 'Artificial Intelligence' and 'Lars and the Real Girl'. Well worth watching as a curio, and a thought provoking conversation piece, but take caution due to the nudity, visceral imagery and psychological unsettling nature of the film.
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