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Map of the Sounds of Tokyo

Rinko Kikuch , Sergi Lopez , Isabel Coixet  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Map of the Sounds of Tokyo + Babel [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Rinko Kikuch, Sergi Lopez, Min Tanaka
  • Directors: Isabel Coixet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Ifc Independent Film
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045ZAQRS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Two lost souls make an unexpected connection in Map Of The Sounds Of Tokyo, a sexy thriller from writer-director Isabel Coixet (Elegy). Ryu (Rinko Kikuchi, Oscar nominee for Babel) is a fish-market employee by day, contract killer by night. David (Sergi Lopez, Pan's Labyrinth) is a Spaniard who runs a Tokyo wine shop. David's girlfriend has recently committed suicide, and her businessman father, blaming David, hires a hitman to kill him. The assassin turns out to be Ryu, and she falls for the man she has been sent to eliminate, leading to a series of steamy sexual encounters in a hotel. Will David learn of his new lover's secret intent? Will Ryu be able to get out of her deadly contract? The sounds of the Tokyo night hold the answers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Basic Review January 10, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film from 2009 is now available on DVD in the US from IFC. The writer-director,
Isabel Coixet, also did "Elegy". The lead actress, Rinko Kikuchi, was in "Babel" and
the lead male, Sergi Lopez, was in "Pan's Labyrinth". I can state the basic plot in one
sentence A hit-woman falls in love with the man she's contracted to murder. And here
is the rest (a few, mild plot spoilers). The beginning of the film was confusing to me
but this makes it easier to follow from the start. A wealthy businessman, CEO of a large
Japanese corporation, Mr. Nagara, grieves the suicide of his (apparently only) daughter,
Midori. He blames her boyfriend. His right-hand man says he will take care of it. He
contracts with a killer to murder the boyfriend (David). The killer, Ryu, works at a
fish market but is a free-lance killer in her spare time. The story is told from the
(improbable) point of view of an older Japanese male who frequently has lunches with Ryu.
He's hopelessly enchanted with her but she tells him nothing about her personal life. He
is a sound recorder by profession and he enjoys taping the sounds of Ryu (hence, the title).
Ryu locates the target but then becomes enamored of him and doesn't want to do the job.
David explains to Ryu that his girlfriend committed suicide, and he can't get over her--he
thinks about her every day. She was chronically depressed but he was much in love with her.

I thought this would be some kind of fast-paced sexy action film. It is not. It's not at all
fast-paced, there are no chase-scenes and a very minimal amount of shooting (apart from the
camera, that is) and it's really more of a sad love story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching for Rinko Kikuchi April 22, 2011
Format:DVD
First, let me say that the trailer for this film is rather misleading. It makes the film look like a sexy thriller.

It's actually a slow, picturesque drama about a fish market girl/assassin (Rinko Kikuchi, Babel) who starts a sexual relationship with her latest target (Sergi Lopez, Pan's Labyrinth), a foreign wine shop proprietor coming to terms with the death of his girlfriend.

The story is narrated (in Japanese with English subtitles) by an older man who records sound effects for movies, hence the title. He seems to be the only acquaintance of Kikuchi's character. She is quiet and seems lonely. She often visits the cemetery to clean the graves of people she has killed.

It's like Last Tango in Paris if that film were set in Tokyo, and if Maria Shneider's character were a hit woman hired to kill Brando. Instead of a run-down apartment, their trysts take place in a "love hotel" designed to look like a subway car (which, I'll admit, is quite interesting). However, this movie is not on the same level as Last Tango, mainly because it often lacks focus.

Rinko Kikuchi is what made this movie worth watching for me. She has a very interesting look, and her character here is mysterious. She has very little dialogue; most of her performance is in her facial expressions and her body language. (She also apparently isn't shy about nudity.) We never really learn much about her character, but it's hard to take your eyes off her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bore or be bored. May 7, 2014
Format:DVD
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (Isabel Coixet, 2009)

About twenty minutes before the end of the interminable Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, a couple of things clicked into place. Suddenly I thought I had the movie figured out, and I was about to cut it a whole hell of a lot of slack because that plot twist was absolutely brilliant, nothing you haven't seen before but the setup was subtle and well-grounded and kind of astonishing. I figured out why ten minutes later; I was entirely wrong. Coixet (Elegy), who also wrote, either had no idea what she'd slipped in at that point, or had meant that as a red herring. In the former case, the movie just goes back to being interminable. In the latter case, it fills me with the kind of rage I reserve for movies whose directors are so inept they should never be allowed behind a camera again (I won't name names, but a quick trip through my hundred-worst list noting directors who appear more than once should produce a concise list). I'm trying to be generous and stick with the former interpretation, but if you have the misfortune of watching this movie, stick around until after the credits and check out the final shot of the film. It reinforces some of what I'm going to say below, and it drove me up the wall.

Plot: Narrador (The Twilight Samurai's Min Tanaka)'s daughter recently committed suicide. He's not happy about it, and he blames her boyfriend David (Pan's Labyrinth's Sergi López). Narrador wants revenge. David, meanwhile, meets a new woman, Ryu (Norwegian Wood's Rinko Kikuchi), and the two of them begin the ghost of an affair, one in which David has no qualms in telling Ryu that when he's with her, she's just a stand-in for his dead girlfriend. Oddly, she seems okay with this.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Interesting movie. Some of the performances were very impressive, but others were very average. Some very explicit scenes but these weren't really well done, and the movie would have been just fine without it. Don't buy the movie just for those.
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