The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai is, without a doubt, the weirdest movie I have ever seen in my life. Dubbed by one critic a "weird, hilarious wet dream for intellectuals," this film attempts to meld satirical, political messages with lots of kinky sex. As a Japanese film being distributed in America by Palm Pictures, it's unrated; if it were to be rated, however, it might be pushing its luck just to get an NC-17 rating over here. Before some of you start scrolling back up to hit that Add to Cart button (and you know who you are), let me just add that the sex scenes can be as disturbing as they are erotic, as some of them equate to rape. You need to know what you're getting into, as those who rarely venture down some of the dark cinematic paths that I walk may find themselves shocked and embarrassed pretty darn quickly. The politics of the story won't appeal to all intellectuals by any means. Frankly, I think a lot of folks are like me and won't completely understand the message the story is trying to convey, but leftists will pretend to understand it just because they will interpret it as anti-Bush. As a conservative, I can't say that anything in this film particularly bothered me (it's nothing compared to, say, any given day in the U.S. Senate – only with a lot more sex). The cover of the DVD asks the question: Can a genius call girl save the world? I still don't know, as the ending seems to go off in a whole different direction.
Sachiko Hanai is a call girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up taking a bullet right in the middle of her forehead. Remarkably, not only does she survive, she gets up and walks out of the place. Strangely enough, almost no one throughout the rest of the film will even mention that big, glaring entrance wound in her forehead. It does have some definite effects on her, though. Her senses react to stimuli long after they should have, she starts devouring all the books she can get her hands on, she sometimes hallucinates, she has the ability to predict certain things about the future, she suffers from periodic bouts of masturbatory passion (apparently a delayed reaction to her increasingly unemotional sexual encounters), and – oh yeah – she becomes some kind of super genius who goes around quoting all kinds of philosophers. It must also make her irresistible to men, as all of the men she comes in contact with throw caution to the wind and use her to sate their own perverse desires.
It turns out that she stumbled away from what should have been her murder with a certain object that a North Korean spy really wants back. In hallucinatory fashion, President George W. Bush (actually, just a crude caricature of him) appears to her and tells her that the object contains a cloned version of his own finger (which he then manipulates in a Bill Clinton-like manner). She stays with a professor for awhile, serving as a tutor to his son (and boy does she know how to make a teenaged boy want to learn the answers to all of her questions), but the North Korean bad guy keeps searching until he finds her. As for that professor, he prefers philosophical discussions to dirty talk, all but busting a nut at the very mention of Noam Chomsky. (See, I told you this was one weird mamma jamma of a movie.)
I won't pretend to have completely understood this movie, especially the ending. Still, I enjoyed watching The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai, mainly because it is unlike any other film I've ever seen. I feel pretty confident saying that a lot of people won't really understand or enjoy it at all, though. That is one of the reasons I've tried to stress the fact that this is a "pink film" that walks a fine line between soft porn and true X-rated material, especially in terms of a couple of nonconsensual sex scenes. You even get a few money shots here and there (although the first one is completely unrealistic for any man walking this earth). I'm not criticizing the film for its sexual content (far from it, actually); I'm just trying to make sure potential viewers know about it in advance. Just know what you're getting into before watching this film, and be sure to keep it out of the hands of any minors.
On a final note, don't hit Stop when the credits begin to roll, as there is some additional material tacked on at the end.