Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blood Soaked Feministing

Tag (2015) - Sono
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Most of its 1 hour 25 minute running time, our titular heroine(s), Mitsuko/Keiko/Izumi are engaging in cardio vascular activity. Tag is Mulholland Dr. meets Ken Russell over the topness for the video game crowd. Sono even takes jabs at the largest movie watching demographic (his included) teen male, and teaches them a thing or two about respecting women while still engaging in upskirt photography (not as predominant as his other films though). Can he take the cake and eat it too? Is this even allowed?

Sono's strength has always been his manic energy and with all the drone shots and running, Tag is an unstoppable ball of energy with plenty of violence and gore. The cartoonish violence against these girls are not overtly sexual and interestingly, Sono keeps sex and violence separate until the last minute. There is obviously an agenda here that all of the characters are female until Mitsuko enters the 'male world' that Sono's commenting on male oriented society where 'girls' are treated as objects. But is he really serious about desensitization of these boys through games and pornography or half-heartedly commenting while actively engaging in desensitization himself? Is suicide the only option for girls everywhere? Unlike the promo trailer for the film where bikini girls get their heads blown off, Tag is much less scintillating in its presentation. He made a conscious choice not to push farther and mire him in contradictions. Like Sono's dark satire breakthrough Suicide Club, Tag leaves you in a somber, rather sad mood. In many ways, Tag is a better Sono film that actually has a direction and is a more concise and less exhausting experience than his grander scale, sprawling, unruly films. Sono exemplifies, along with Paul Verhoeven, that one can make a biting satire while awash with the very trope he's satirizing.