11 July 2014 | BA_Harrison
Burusera, sera, whatever will be, will be.
In her iconic sailor-style uniform, the Japanese schoolgirl has long been a common fantasy figure for middle-aged businessmen from 'the land of the rising sun' (so much so, that public vending machines once dispensed used schoolgirl panties along Japan's major commuter routes!). Raw Summer deals with one such pervy bloke, an unattractive, podgy, balding loser named Masuo (Yutaka Mishima), who allows his fantasy to become reality when he takes his unhealthy infatuation with Anko (Sola Aoi), the beautiful schoolgirl with whom he shares a train every morning, to the next disturbing level.
Given the touchy subject matter, I fully expected Raw Summer to be an out-and-out piece of deviant Pinku filth; instead, director Keisuke Yoshida delivers a surprisingly thoughtful, sometimes tender, and only occasionally shocking study of obsession. The film moves at a fairly sedate pace, but never bores thanks to its economic 56 minute running time and an unpredictable plot-turn midway; it also leaves the viewer thinking with a surprise twist ending that reminded me of that old Twilight Zone episode 'An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge'.