For Love's Sake ("Ai to Makoto")
Official Selection, Cannes Film Festival 2012
“Deliriously daft... dynamic gang rumbles, sadistic slapstick violence and showstopping high camp musical numbers” — Allan Hunter, SCREEN DAILY
Takashi Miike has touched upon every imaginable genre, never ceasing to be innovative while respecting their codes and classics, having helped shape many of them. Whether tackling the samurai epic (13 ASSASSINS), J-horror (ONE MISSED CALL), the Western (SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO) or the family picture (NINJA KIDS!!!), his uniquely ironic signature is always recognizable. Eleven years after THE HAPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS, the auteur revisits the musical comedy with FOR LOVE’S SAKE, an improbable love story set to heartwarming J-pop sounds that will make you want to sing along with characters who are constantly fighting and bickering. When GREASE meets WEST SIDE STORY in a package as violent as CROWS ZERO, we are indeed inside Miike’s universe.
When Ai (Emi Takei), a wealthy model student, runs into Makoto (Satoshi Tsumabuki, SMUGGLER), a poor and nasty young man, it prompts her to remember an incident that implicated both of them when they were kids, one that left the boy with a huge scar upon his face. Realizing that Makoto has become a delinquent who responds to being contradicted by inflicting multiple face-slaps, she decides to make a decent guy out of him, even if it means taking a few slaps of her own. However, every strategy adopted by Ai to quiet him down only serves to deepen his demons. Ai’s insistence betrays her growing feelings for Makoto as this twisted dynamic degenerates in a love hexagon notably implicating the leader of a girl-gang (Ito Ono), an invincible brute (Tsuyoshi Ihara, 13 ASSASSINS) and a nerd (Takumi Saito, ACE ATTORNEY). When Ai gets mixed up in an explosive combination of unfulfilled passions and clan warfare, Makoto will have to knuckle-carve his way through all these nice people to save her.
Adapted from the manga "Ai To Makoto", created by famous author Ikki Kajiwara, FOR LOVE’S SAKE is a hybrid feature joining savage brutality with charming musical segments, creating a stylized and colourful metaphor about the diametrically opposed realities experienced by its protagonists. Shifting from sweet romantic comedy to voluntarily exaggerated melodrama, with pit stops on dark thriller turf that never eclipse the sarcastic humor so characteristic of his work, Miike enjoys mixing genres with confounding agility. After having cheered up Cannes 2012, FOR LOVE’S SAKE will electrify Fantasia with its furious dance numbers and catchy songs that will remain stuck in your head like the memory of your first love.
— Nicolas Archambault