4 August 2013 | sharptongue
My expectations were low for this movie, as I am not in the target audience (which is innocent teen J girls). Other Momoe movies I have seen were just bearable due to a decent support casts, but Dances Of Flame lacks even this.
In the 70s, J audiences couldn't get enough of Momoe and Tomo, who made a number of movies together, until they married in 1980 and Momoe left the public gaze for happy, normal and reportedly dull life with Tomo. Perhaps their popularity was part of the motivation to build a movie with them as very much the dominant presence. The support cast rarely gets a look in.
Even during Tomo's absences, Momoe's anguish keeps him in the forefront of the story. This seems to be what audiences hungered for, and perhaps they ignored or failed to notice just how unconvincing these two are as actors. Momoe was a teen singing sensation rather than an actress, though she can act ... a little, which is more than can be said for Tomo, who is widely (and correctly !) regarded as lacking charisma and talent.
There is odd stuff going on in the story which is never explained. For instance, Kiyono (Momoe) calls two different old women 'mother'. Also, the scene where Takuji (Tomo) first meets Kiyono contains a flashback, where she recalls taunting Takuji as a child ... yet they had only just met ?!
Despite being a couple in real life, these two fail to translate any real feeling onto the screen, resorting instead to overacting and histrionics. Perhaps Dances Of Flame would have been more watchable with better actors.