Herutâ sukerutâ (2012) is a Japanese movie. Mika Ninagawa has directed this movie. Kiko Mizuhara,Gô Ayano,Yôsuke Kubozuka,Erika Sawajiri are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2012. Herutâ sukerutâ (2012) is considered one of the best Drama,Horror movie in India and around the world.
Top star Lilico undergoes multiple cosmetic surgeries to her entire body. As her surgeries show side effect, Lilico makes the lives of those around her miserable as she tries to deal with her career and her personal problems.
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Its posters and other promotional materials may sell it based on skin and sex, but there is really so much more to former fashion photographer turned director Mika Ninagawa's sophomore film 'Helter Skelter'. At the risk of sounding clichéd, what you think you know about the movie is really only skin-deep, as this adaptation of Kyoko Okazaki's award- winning manga proves to be one of the most riveting Japanese films we've seen in a long while - thanks to its bold take on an absolutely timely subject. Essentially a cautionary tale on the pursuit of beauty and fame, it weaves a compelling psychosexual horror drama around a fictional celebrity named Lilico. Rather than start at the beginning, Ninagawa introduces her audience to Lilico at the height of her popularity, the latter's flawless doll-like features and to-die-for figure making her the object of desire for young girls around the country. Every teenage girl wants to be like her, and that in turn has made her the subject of intense media interest, which explains her appearance on almost every fashion magazine and her crossover into the world of movies. Unbeknownst to her adoring fans, everything about her is manufactured – well, except her "eyeballs, ears, fingernails and pussy". The extent of her radical makeover is never shown, but hinted at especially with the sudden appearance one day of her sister, a plump and dorky girl whom you would never in your wildest imaginations ever think was related to Lilico. Her individuality stripped completely in order for her to be the vessel of others' desires, Lilico thrives on the affirmation of her adulating fans, most of whom are no less shallow than her. A more conventional narrative might have opted to paint Lilico as someone we are supposed to sympathise with, but Kaneko Arisa's script eschews such contrivances in favour of a fully formed character study. Much as we might be inclined to empathise with her for being manipulated by her talent agency boss, a domineering mother figure whom Lilico calls Mama (Kaori Momoi), we also learn that she is no angel on the inside, especially in the way that she psychologically manipulates her assistant Michiko (Shinobu Terajima) and the latter's boyfriend Shin (Go Ayano). Like a tightly coiled spring, Ninagawa carefully builds the tension as Lilico's precarious life unravels bit by bit. Turns out that Lilico's plastic surgery clinic uses illegal – and worse, unsafe – methods on their clients, and is being investigated by a public prosecutor named Makoto (Omori Nao). Not only does Lilico find her seemingly perfect façade crumbling with black patches, the drug she injects into her body to maintain her decaying complexion gives her hallucinations, her brittle state of mind further battered by her declining popularity following the rise of a new fresh-faced model Kiko (Yoshikawa Kozue). Truly remarkable is the razor-sharp precision by which Ninagawa portrays the dangers and pitfalls of modern-day society's obsession with beauty and fame. On one hand, the movie criticises the celebrities who would go under the knife just to look more and more like what others would love for them to; on the other, it chastises the hypocritical nature of their fans, who would be just as effusive in idolising them as they are swift in switching loyalties. Without one, there would not be the other, and Ninagawa makes an empathetic point that either is equally culpable for constructing and reinforcing a vision of beauty that is ultimately unattainable. But more than just social commentary, Ninagawa offers an experience in her film that deserves to be felt. Part of that is the visual palette she has chosen, from the playful colours of Lilico's photography sets to the garishly red-saturated interiors of Lilico's apartment to the simple but no less memorable image of a blue butterfly in Lilico's hallucinations. Part of that is also her stylishly executed shot compositions which – combined with some nifty techniques she deploys – make for plenty of visual fodder to keep you fascinated. All that visual trickery would be for naught without a strong character- driven narrative – and this is where Arisa's script truly shines. Every character is clearly defined in relation to Lilico – whether is it the authoritarian Mama who had helped shape Lilico in the form of her youthful self, or the over-accommodating Michiko whose blind allegiance to Lilico destroys her life, or Lilico's one and only romantic interest Nanbu (Yosuke Kubozuka) who leaves her to marry a politician's daughter – and what is especially interesting is the consistent use of a narrative device that where each of these characters gives his or her perception of Lilico. Such an approach means that a lot hinges on Erika Sawajiri's performance as Lilico, and thankfully she is absolutely stunning in the role. Returning to showbiz after a five-year absence, Sawajiri inhabits the character completely, her brave and utterly committed portrayal of a starlet's fall from the heights of celebrity heavens spellbinding in its intensity. Veterans Momoi and Terajima provide fine supporting acts, but the show belongs absolutely to Sawajiri, letting her audience feel ever so keenly Lilico's fears, insecurities, anxieties, and motivations. Both as a richly realised character study as well as a critique on today's celebrity culture and obsession over beauty, 'Helter Skelter' rises tall above its soft-porn impressions to amaze as one of the rare Japanese films that works as biting social commentary. Sure, some might argue that it tends to go over-the-top with an almost surrealistic feel, but that very quality makes it all the more mesmerising to examine what is in itself a seemingly ludicrous preoccupation. It is dark comedy at its very best, fascinating to watch every step of the way and perhaps one of the most unique films you'll see this year.
The latest film "Helter Skelter" from famed fashion photographer turned director Mika Ninagawa is an ambitious piece of work that goes beyond its telling issue of the evils that lies in the plastic surgery craze. The film is filled with sharp bright colours, plenty of imageries and an insightful look at the cost of fame, beauty, looks and sex. "Helter Skelter" is ultimately beautiful to look at and goes on a deeper level than many of its contemporaries but somehow it still manages to come up rather flawed and mistimed. After a 5 years hiatus from the big screen and a failed marriage Erika Sawajiri simply shines through in the leading role. "Helter Skelter" lacks a cutting edge that is required to captivate the audience. The unevenness is evident throughout, as the film itself feels like an emotional roller coaster. Perhaps indirectly the filmmaker is trying to show how much turmoil, depression and slightly mental that Sawajiri has become. The constant use of bright and bloody red throughout the film shows just how much Sawajiri is playing with fire. When things are going well, the fame that comes with being beautiful brings popularity, acceptance and recognition. However, this strive for fame is like a dangerous drug, an inevitable addiction that makes her inner soul wanting more and more. The film raises a number of questions about the price of fame, the superficial nature of showbiz, the aftereffects of plastic beauty and the equation between beauty and happiness. These are all prominent issues as the good news is that Ninagawa does not shy away from any of these. The film first reaches an emotional crescendo with the purity of the contrasting cherry blossom scene where Erika meets her innocence looking sister. This moment in particular hits the audience hard and straight through the heart as to how far away she is actually from her sister, both physically and figuratively. However, the film often drags at crucial moments, where in turn hampers the audience's ability to connect with the film on a deeper level as the film seems to be toying around with their moods through some inconsistent filmmaking. The scene where Sawajiri is required to face the media upon being exposed remains one of the most striking moment within the film. It is rather ironic that Sawajiri will end up destroying one of her few pieces of bodies that are still real, perfectly transcends to the audience the feeling of freedom, hope and new life. Erika Sawajiri plays the leading role of a beauty queen who sinks deeper and deeper into depression, drugs, fame and plastic surgery. This is by far her most complicated character in her career. Sawajiri first caught my eye by displaying some fine acting chop as the older romantic interest in the coming of age tale "Sugar and Spice". Since then, Sawajiri has left the industry, got married and divorce all within 5 years and "Helter Skelter" acts as a shadow of her own career in the show business. There is a level of sadness within her eyes that perfectly portray the situation and at times it feels rather scary as the blurring of boundaries seems to be making her real and cinematic life contravened. Other supporting characters like Kaori Momoi as the motherly figure is constantly dressed in bright green, as her character is never truly defined and remains a sense of mystery to audience as to her true intentions towards Sawajiri. All in all, "Helter Skelter" is not a film about sex and nor should it be. Although it marks as Sawajiri's first nude role, the scenes are never distasteful, but rather it allows the audience to feel the vulnerabilities behind her character. "Helter Skelter" is an uneven and flawed film, but Ninagawa stylistic and daring direction keeps the film afloat. "Helter Skelter" is the kind of film that has a lot to say and combining with a career redefining performance from Sawajiri, the film is able to give the evils of plastic surgery, a much needed all-out blast. Still, this is a good enough film, even if it is clearly flawed in its own way. (Neo 2012) I rated it 7.5/10 http//thehkneo.com/blog
Erika Sawajiri is outstanding as flavor-of-the-moment model/actress Lillico, a diva held together by plastic surgery, who exorcises her own demons in predatory sado-sexual displays of domination on her minder (Shinobu Terajima in perfect counter-point). Lillico is self-aware, stating that she can't really act, and she's not a great singer. All she has is her looks, bought at great price, though the exact cost will only slowly reveal itself. Japan's facile celebrity culture and the amoral voracity of its media are excoriated here. The social commentary scorches due to Sawajiri's unflinching efforts in making Lillico all too human. The casting is both professional and sly, as there is more than a little overlap between Lillico and the 'betsu ni' iteration of Sawajiri's own media persona. Director Mika Ninagawa is best known for still photography, and it is this background that lets the film down. Too often we are offered a montage, beautifully shot, of angst ridden Lillico, rolling in the rain, hallucinating about butterflies and falling feathers (too obviously borrowed from American Beauty), or gazing as the camera slides poetically past her at the human carnage she has unleashed. Lovely photography, but at the cost of slowing the narrative to a standstill. Lillico evokes Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, a country girl living a dream on borrowed time and shutting out the tawdriness that engulfs her. Instead of an older husband, it is a younger sibling who arrives from the past to burst the bubble. The plot involves ugly profiteering at a medical clinic and the arm of the law closing in, though the police procedural scenes function only to offer up expository commentary that jars. The prosecutors talk and are lit more like Greek gods pitying mortals than civil servants trying to put a shift in. Kaori Momoi as the shiftless boss does what she does best, that undefinable unsettling quirkiness perfectly suited to this role. Kiko Mizuhara also shows depth as the new idol who displaces Lillico from her perch, but turns out to be every bit as self-aware and jaded as her predecessor. The way the film turns the microscope on fetishized beauty and celebrity is its strength, and with brisker pacing and tighter editing this could have been outstanding. Those flaws are a pity, given the magnetic power of Sawajiri.
After almost a five year break from film making since her stunning film debut "Sakuran", film auteur Ninagawa Mika triumphantly returns in top form with the controversial live action film adaptation of "Helter Skelter". Based on Okazaki Kyoko's popular manga currently running in the serialized comic magazine "Feel Good", "Helter Skelter" is a visually gorgeous and impressive looking film lush with vibrant color and striking imagery but like its troubled character LiLiCo, its outer beauty hides a convoluted and sometimes overly dark and twisted fairy tale whose sanctimonious message against vanity and sexual objectification seems a bit heavy handed. The manga/film takes its name from the Beatles' iconic song "Helter Skelter". The term not only means "in disorderly haste or confusion" but also refers to the name of a spiraling amusement park slide that ascends and then sharply descends in a violent wave. While it is unfortunate that the name has become so closely associated with the Tate-LaBianca murders by the Charles Manson family, its original meaning seems aptly appropriate here. "Helter Skelter" tells the tragic story of LiLiCo (the magnetic Sawajiri Erika), the reigning "It Girl" in Japan whose flawless face prominently graces the cover of every fashion magazine and is the idol of thousands of impressionable young girls. Yet despite her incredible beauty, LiLiCo's inner vanity has made her a demanding and pompous diva whose arrogance seems to know no limits as she surrounds herself in grand and gaudy opulence while leading a decadent and selfish lifestyle. She frequently belittles and mistreats her meek manager Hada Michiko (Terajima Shinobu), a 30-something plain-jane who idolizes LiLiCo despite all the humiliation she endures at her hands. While LiLiCo is set to marry her rich vapid boyfriend Nanbu Takao (Kuboutsuka Yosuke) she still shamelessly seduces other rich individuals for favors and high profile modeling contracts). LiLiCo's hedonistic world comes crashing down as she discovers a small discolored blemish on her perfect face. She tells her Modeling/Talent Agent and den mother, Tada Hiroko (Momoi Kaori) about the problem and they go to visit controversial Plastic Surgeon Wachi Hisako (Harada Mieko) whose unconventional and radical surgical techniques originally transformed LiLiCo from the chubby, homely country bumpkin she was originally into the perfect model she is now. Unbeknownst to LiLiCo, Dr. Wachi is currently under investigation by crusading Prosecutor Asada Makoto (Omori Nao) who is looking into the deaths of dozens of Dr. Wachi's clients who have developed similar discolored blotches and out of shame have committed suicide. Dr. Wachi performs additional painful surgery on LiLiCo to correct the problem and also gives her experimental anti-rejection medicine to help speed up her recovery. These unfortunately do little to help and as LiLiCo faces competition from a young rising star, the pure spirited and natural beauty Yoshikawa Kozue (Eurasian model turned actress Mizuhara Kiko) the stresses of sustaining the illusion of being perfect slowly drive LiLiCo deeper and deeper into all-consuming madness. Comparisons to Darren Aronofsky's brilliant film 2010 "Black Swan" are unavoidable as both films share a very similar story featuring a young morally ambiguous heroine whose quest for absolute perfection and fame lead them on a path of self-destruction and madness. Kaneko Arisa ("Densha Otoko", "Okaeri Hayabusa") does a good job of adapting Okazaki's original manga and crafts a screenplay that is quite true in spirit to the source material, complete with all the dark overtones and unfortunately the flaws as well. The themes of society's obsession with artificial beauty and the psychological consequences of self-objectification are nobly confronted in the film but are delivered with such heavy-handed reproach that it seems almost preachy. Ninagawa's style of direction and visual flair are very much reminiscent if not inspired by Ridley Scott, Darren Aronofsky and especially Kathryn Bigelow. "Helter Skelter" marks not only Ninagawa's long awaited return to film but also a return to form for its star Sawajiri Erika ("1 Litre No Namida" TV Series, "Shinobi", "Closed Note") who took a brief hiatus in her career after some high profile public missteps and her growing reputation as a "bad girl" nearly ended her career. While many may see Sawajiri's performance as nothing but "art imitating life" it is nothing short of spectacular and memorable. Sawajiri should be commended for taking on such a shallow and troubled character like LiLiCo and approaches the role with much fearless abandon. As unlikeable a character as LiLiCo is, Sawajiri still manages to somehow make the audience feel sympathy for her. Sawajiri never looked better in this film and sports a body to die for. The stellar supporting cast is equally good with special mention going to Terajima Shinobu who portrays LiLiCo's exploited manager Hada. The normally attractive Terajima really dumbs down her look to portray plain Hada and brings a strong sense of vulnerability with her portrayal. Momoi Kaori ("Swallowtail Butterfly", "Ai Futatabi", "Kagemusha") excels in her role as Tada, a former model who tries to recapture fame by literally creating the perfect "living doll" model in LiLiCo. Momoi's subtle and balanced performance is in nice contrast to Sawajiri's wild portrayal. Alluring beauty Mizuhara Kiko ("Norwegian Wood") is absolutely enchanting as angelic Yoshikawa Kozue. The American/Korean mixed model does a good job in this her first major speaking role and helps to define Kozue as an ethereal, virtuous foil to LiLiCo's self-absorbed bitch. The finale seems a bit sensationalized and gratuitous but this seems more a fault of the source material than with the film itself. The surprise "twist ending" suggests a sequel to which I am all for. "Helter Skelter" is a beautiful film but not perfect. Yet its overall enjoyable cautionary tale about objectification seems so timely in a world where the "Cults of Personality" for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Rola, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and countless other fashion models have dramatically influenced pop culture with their illusions of perfection.
Lilico is a bad seed, a sadistic supermodel and the darling of all Japan who has turned herself into, as another character from the movie puts it, "a machine for the processing of desire " Problem is that all her plastic surgery is slowly necrotizing her flesh, and as she slides down the bat pole into oblivion she drags everyone with her, including her female assistant (whom she sexually assaults) and the foot soldiers she dispatches to throw acid in the faces of other models. In the hands of Sion Sono or David Cronenberg, this material would have been rich and nuanced. What begs to be explored is that central notion of the desire machine. Lilico's primary dilemma is everybody's – how do we constitute ourselves as subjects in this period of late-stage, global capitalism, where we exist in a state of constant flux between two poles: self-commodification and compulsive consumerism? The problem is hinted at, but never fleshed out: the human body is no longer a space in which people realize themselves politically, creatively, erotically, or spiritually; rather, the body has become ancillary to the functioning of a global market economy, a thing that is used by and subservient to ideology. In the end, Helter Skelter is a pretty-looking mess, which isn't surprising because that's often the result when fashion photographers, in this case Mika Ninagawa, take a stab at directing feature films. Ambitious, but a mess.