The Enchantment | Chicago Reader

The Enchantment

A fascinating and masterful melodrama from Japan, written by Goro Nakajima and directed by former independent Shunichi Nagasaki, that may remind you in spots of both Vertigo and Lilith, although the treatment is strictly Japanese. A Tokyo psychiatrist (Masao Kusakari) who's engaged to his receptionist (Kiwako Harada) becomes fascinated to the point of obsession with a beautiful tour guide (Kumiko Akiyoshi) who claims to have been beaten by her lesbian lover; further events reveal that this lover is dead and that her identity is being schizophrenically re-created by the tour guide. A film that juxtaposes two kinds of obsession and implicitly asks the spectator to determine which is sicker (or healthier); it's all done with effective plot twists and a sure storytelling hand (1989).

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