“The Enchantment” is a richly romantic melodrama that would seem to suggest that schizophrenia is the common cold of contemporary Tokyo. “The Enchantment” is a hip, dark fairy tale for movie Freudians, about a passion so all-consuming that it has the power to transform reality for the object of that passion.
Though the central character is Sotomura (Masao Kusakari), a handsome, urbane psychiatrist, the focus of the film is Miyako (Kumiko Akiyoshi), the shy beauty who arrives at the doctor’s office late one afternoon without an appointment. She wants to talk about her jealous lover, a woman named Kimie, who has begun to beat her. When Sotomura asks if she’s afraid of Kimie, Miyako says that she’s more afraid of not loving her. It’s not long before the doctor’s interest is something more than professional. Miyako has the manner of a woman too pure and sensitive for this world. She flinches when a light is turned on. Sotomura feels he has to protect her. The day after Miyako’s first visit, he receives a call from Kimie threatening him if he sees her lover again. There’s even reason to suspect that Kimie is capable of murder. Sotomura becomes casual toward Harumi (Kiwako Harada), the young woman he lives with, and eventually pays for his interest in Miyako by being badly knifed by her. It is only the first (and not the most surprising) of the film’s succession of revelations that Miyako and Kimie are the same person.
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Original Title: Yûwakusha
Category: Drama, Mystery
Director: Shunichi Nagasaki
Stars: Kumiko Akiyoshi, Masao Kusakari, Kiwako Harada
Run time: 109 min