Features a minimalist aesthetic design which is performative in that it evokes an ethereal atmosphere early on, Asako I & II masks the underlying turmoil of its story with a brazen romanticism which slowly withers over the course of the film, revealing in its main protagonist a passive character who struggles to understand her own desires. Managing to be tender yet subversive, sumptuous yet encapsulated by emotional pain, Asako I & II is a pensive romantic film that is an uncomfortable albeit honest exploration of the fundamental nature of love and companionship. Viewed through an axiological lens, self is revealed as a central node of not only happiness but love itself, as the film reveals a character whose inability to distinguish carnal impulse from emotional desire leads her down a path of self-discovery. Asako I & II uses a singular construction both narratively and aesthetically to demonstrate a familiar theme in that love isn't built on external concepts of pleasure, aesthetic desire, or selfishness but derived from personal well-being. Asako I & II astutely recognizes the enigmatic nature of love, declaring that perhaps the desire towards selflessness and an absolute-version of empathy and respect is the paramount tenant of love. Tender, mature, sumptuous yet painful, Asako I & II is a rare film which manages to be just as uncomfortable as it is romantic, a beautiful, complex experience about the human condition purveyed through the conceptual nature of love.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.