Two detectives following the case of a boy who confessed to the murder of another boy in a juvenile detention center is what "Big Bang Love Juvenile A" is about. There is a great deal of homosexual tension and violence here and we get some incredible visuals in this Japanese film. Directed by Takeshi Miike, an amazing auteur, here is a shocking and beautiful spectacle which explores the nature of existence. The world of the film is the fantasy world of young criminals with rites of initiation, fights for supremacy and violent actions. The movie is alive with sensuousness and intellectualism. From the very first scene of three generations of men--a young father, an old man and a boy, you are pulled into the film. The father dances suggestively and primitively. It is the kind of dance that brings the internal to the fore. From the dance, we go to a prison at a dubious location. It is nowhere--nowhere that is everywhere. It is where past and future meet, where religion confronts science and where hope and despair converge and collide and where life is hell. Our two main characters, Ariyoshi and Kazuki are studies in radical contrast. Ariyoshi comes across as weak and passive, somewhat fragile and in prison for murder. He wants badly to be loved but feels that this will never happen in light of what he has done. When he murdered a man, he did away with his own innocence. Kazuki seems to be tough and exerts aggressive behavior. He acts before thinking but we see he is filled with pain and fear. Miike shows the ambiguity of morality during acts of violence. He exposes violence for what it really is--personal endeavor. It is something that cannot be explained or understood and only the person committing the act is able to understand it. We see a world where men live under hypocritical laws which received their structure from a very twisted version of religious ethics. The prison has the atmosphere of a Buddhist temple. At every corner are light, shadow, heat and flesh. In itself, this is an enigmatic film and hard to understand all of it but the story holds attention. It is a contemplative view of homoerotic love and violence. I feel that Miike tries to convey Buddhist reflections about life. The prison, representing the false appearances of the world is contrasted with the symbols of the rocket and the pyramid we see which represent escape from this world. This movie has a great deal going for it--a powerful story, great motives, beautiful and brilliant colors, extremely talented actors and stylistic ideas. As the movie unfolds, we follow the relationship of the two characters and we grow to understand them and Miike's vision. The realism is brutal and beautiful. While many viewers may get lost, I can only say that if they stick it out until the end of the film, they will be greatly rewarded.
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About the reviewer
Amos Lassen (amoslassen)
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities. I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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Inside a juvenile detention center, two young prisoners from vastly different backgrounds experience a bond that transcends their tormented past. As they open their hearts to each other, life around them dissolves between a real world murder mystery, and a surreal journey filled with images of a primitive past and an ambiguous future.