**** Forewarning: Do not read further if you are looking for a titillating review of Tinto Brass's soft-core porn film that goes by the same name. My verbose prose will only disappoint you (and quite possibly cause undesired shrinkage) ****
A chance encounter with a track (link given below) from this film that I had seen a while back made me spend the whole of last week exploring the rest of its tracks as is my habit of doing with any musical score I find interesting.
Then, having exhausted my ears from five days of on-the-loop, non-stop hearing of all tracks during my nearly three-hours-a-day commute, I simply couldn't help but re-watch the movie today.
I must confess, the amount of creativity employed by the legendary animator, late Satoshi Kon in this film is breath-taking.
While it begins as just another competent animation film, the real artistic brilliance of the plot, the visuals, the background score and of course their merger into one is unveiled to the audience only in the form of layers, the deepest of which is accessible to only those whose interest is genuinely piqued by 'show-dont-tell' stories.
As the film does not face the limitations of live-action cinema, there is a liberating amount of creative effort put into each shot to ensure that the manga animation, especially later on, is bursting with an equal portion of maddening glee and terror that one can relate very well to as emotions experienced during dreams and nightmares.
Also, I believe this is another good example of how feminism can form a key element of the story arc without tipping the scales too far into preachy territory.
I loved all aspects of it, including how the director is able to steer the story in a straight path despite touching on varied genres such as fantasy, sci-fi, romance, horror and (as mentioned earlier) the philosophy of feminism.
PS: I preferred the Japanese version with subtitles over the English dubbed version. The voice-overs in the former are way more effective.
PSS: This is definitely two artistic notches above Inception.