A young wife cannot have sex ever since she was traumatised as a child by the sexual moanings of her mother. With soft porn star Yuna Mizumoto as the lead in Toru Kamei's Question, viewers need not wander very far for a solution in this tale of the sexual liberation of a frigid housewife. Stephen Tan reviews.


Before they got married, young printer Jun Kishida (Hiroshi Fujita) agreed to a no-sex clause with Mari (Yuna Mizumoto). It's not difficult to imagine Jun's "hunger" pangs as Mari is not only pretty, but has a desirable body and breasts that talk show host Jay Leno would call perky.

From the way the two talk, the no-sex clause seems to include no kissing and no touching. The two sleep on separate beds. While it's been a year since the two were married, Jun has not been keeping still. He regularly picks up hookers (the first one viewers see onscreen is his 142nd visit since his marriage), and secretly videotapes his wife undressing. At night, he stares longingly at his sleeping wife, even if she's alluring splayed on the bed. And even in a moment of passion, he loves his wife too much to force himself on her.

Mari, looking like she's fresh from high school, really has a big hang-up about sex. Actually the hang-up is related to the moans women make when they climax. Apparently Mari's mother was the village tramp and her loud moans and sex-making had traumatised the young Mari. In order to shut her mind off sex (and life, but generally sex), Mari devotes all her attention to learning minute facts that would make her a Trivial Pursuit champ. The questions are also an allusion to the title of the show.

When her husband is more than a little forceful in the car, Mari storms off and, instead of returning home, she finds herself outside the brothel Jun used to frequent. As such movies are wont to do, Mari meets the hooker who had serviced Jun and the two end up in the hooker's apartment. In a drunken state, Mari must have unfolded her story to the hooker. In the morning, the hooker, seeing the innocence in Mari, not to mention a desirable body, tries to seduce Mari but ends up frigthening the girl. The hooker then tries a different line. Explaining that Mari should slowly "discover" sex, she hides Mari in a closet while she invites a neighbour over for sex. The visibly shaken Mari leaves after the sex session but she also realises that sex need not necessarily mean penetration for her. She can have sex with her husband in other ways.

The rest of the hour-long movie can then be said to be the sexual awakening of Mari as she tries oral sex, getting her body and breasts kneaded, and eventually going all the way, all with hardly a moan in-between. While it's almost towards the end of the movie that viewers get a good look at actress Yuna Mizumoto's body, Japanese genre fans might have been tickled to see the popular soft porn (Pinku Eiga) actress playing the virginal and coy Mari.

The sex and nudity notwithstanding, Question starts off with a sex-less marriage, then a seemingly staying husband, a neurotic wife, and eventually turning into a full-blown bedroom romp. Filmmaker Toru Kamei might be better known for Double Suicide Elegy (2005) but Question is still an intriguing movie as the viewer finds the floor constantly shifting under him.

Note: The Question DVD (Fillmotion) is banned in $ingapore.

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September 11, 2007


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