Wife of a Spy. 2021. Japan. Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Screenplay by Kurosawa, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi and Tadashi Nohara. With Yû Aoi, Issey Takahashi, Ryota Bando. In Japanese; English subtitles. 115 min.
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Japanese genre master Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Cure) continues to shift his focus from horror to female-centered melodrama with this penetrating variation on the classic Gaslight plot. In the Kobe of 1940, as Japanese imperialism continues its devastating expansion through Asia, a young married woman, Satoko (Yu Aoi), begins to suspect her businessman husband, Yusaku (Issey Takahashi), of using his trips to China to hide an affair. Her insecurity grows, fed by a childhood friend turned military officer (Masahir Higashide), who resents Yusaku’s fondness for Western clothes and culture. Kurosawa, working from a screenplay he cowrote with Tadashi Nohara and Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), extends a disorientingly calm, balanced style across a narrative that becomes increasingly emotional and politically charged. Courtesy Kino Lorber