The new film from Spanish director Isabel Coixet is a romantic thriller set against the intense colors - and diverse sounds - of the modern Tokyo cityscape. Ryu is a young Japanese loner who works nights at a Tokyo fish market. But her large apartment and sexy wardrobe speak of a chic lifestyle beyond the means of a lowly fish hawker. We soon realize that Ryu leads a double life - and it's not as a high-end call girl or even a drug dealer but as a killer-for-hire. The story takes off when she meets David, a Spanish wine-store owner who is mourning the recent death of his wife. Ryu makes the mistake of falling for her target, making their subsequent sexual encounters charged with an extra eroticism.

The film - written, directed and occasionally shot by Coixet - is narrated in Japanese by an elderly sound engineer who is obsessed with the noises of the vibrant capital city. But while "Map of the Sounds of Tokyo" presents a slice of Japanese culture, it is more concerned with exploring the complex tangle of human emotions that results when its two leading characters meet.
MAX SMITH

Title
Map of the sounds of Tokyo
Director
Isabel Coixet
Country
Spain
Length
109 min
Festival
2009
Section
Asian Images
Language
Japanese, English, Spanish
Subtitle
English
Production year
2009
Cast
Rinko Kikuchi, Sergi López, Min Tanaka
Producer
Jaume Roures
Script
Isabel Coixet

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