After a short prelude in which a Bunraku tragedy is staged as a framework for what is to follow, three intersecting human stories are told simultaneously in a tedious 114 minutes of mystification. In the first, Sawako and boyfriend Matsumoto (Miho Kanno and Hidetoshi Nishijima) walk along public pathways, tied together with a red rope. This is meant for protection and identifies the pair as "'Bound Beggars,' aimless vagabonds to the outside world but desperate to find something forgotten," (according to the promo description).
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Viewers may be alarmed at first, as the film starts off with several minutes of the film playing with its non-subtitled Japanese dialogue intact. It's a fast-paced series of quick action scenes involving bad kung fu and a flamethrower and gives you the impression that even if one knew Japanese, it wouldn't be making much more sense. Then Allen himself shows up and describes what he has done to the film, playing it completely straight.
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There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.