Kurosawa), a pretty young woman who is fully dressed, steps into
a public bath. Seated in a comfortable position, she inserts a
vibrator into her vagina and begins to masturbate. The insertion
is not shown but viewers are left with no doubts as to what's
Toru Kamei's Maguma (2004). Set in a public bath, the film shows
how husband Mitsuo and his wife, Atsuko, run the public bath,
the customers they encounter; the financial problems they face
and, above all, the relationship problems they have with each
only get aroused in the bath. The fact that Mitsuo owns the bath
is probably the reason Atsuko agreed to marry him in the first
place. Even though they have been married for three years, the
couple have never had sex outside of the bath and this is becoming
very frustrating for Mitsuo who wants "normal" sex like anyone
are only two of them, Atsuko is usually the one who attends to
the customers and is privy to all the nudity (both male and female)
that comes with a public bath. There is a certain decorum and
business-like attitude when dealing with a male customer in the
nude and when it's a female customer, Atsuko displays a certain
innocence and shyness even. The film does not make Atsuko out
to be promiscuous for when it comes to sex, there is Mitsuo and
if he is not available, there is always the vibrator.
That is until
a persistent male customer who has been eyeing Atsuko for a while.
One day the man approaches Atsuko and says: "Well, it's your move."
The next scene shows the two having sex in the bath.
feel of the film continues when Atsuko meets a young couple who
are at the bath for the first time. Keeping her distance, Atsuko
watches as the young wife (played by another soft porn actress,
Yuna Mizumoto) remove her clothes and then shyly trying to deal
with being naked in the bath.
surprise, the couple return another day and this time want Atsuko
to watch them having sex in the bath. The husband explains that
his wife is, firstly, intrigued by the fact that Atsuko works
at the bath and is used to all the nudity. Secondly, the wife
cannot get turned on sexually at home and the couple hope that
sex in the bath in front of a stranger might work for them.
at first objects, eventually he gives in to Atsuko being voyeur-at-large.
Needless to say, watching the couple having sex is a turn on for
Atsuko though she refrains from joining them for a threesome.
business at the bath is not good and Mitsuo is forced to sell
the bath. After locking up for the last time, the couple board
a train for a holiday. At the last minute, Mitsuo steps off the
train, leaving Atsuko on her own.
wanted and not abandoned is all Atsuko ever wanted plus the fact
that she had a major sexual experience at a bath (when she first
discovers pubic hair) certainly marked her for life. For her,
the public bath is a place of warmth as well as a place filled
with sexual connotation.
any guy who is aware of soft porn actress Ai Kurosawa - with her
lithe body and wholesome breasts - would probably would not mind
having sex with her in the bath their entire lives. Throughout
the film, Mitsuo is shown to be a caring person and his leaving
Atsuko in the end is a surprise that does not gel with the rest
of the film.
Kamei's other 2004 movie, Question, which was intriguing enough
for the viewer to sit through, Maguma's premise is really wafer
thin. Viewer's patience is only rewarded through the film's nudity
and sex, which are more penetrating than anything else on display.