Hanyo (1960)

Plot Overview

A composer has a one night stand with his maid while his wife is away. The maid is jealous of the wife and tries to steal him away from her, gaining more and more control over the family and doing increasingly horrible things to them.

Review

I have mixed feelings about this film, although I did like it a lot. There are a lot of good things about it, but also some very off-putting aspects. It had a pretty intense atmosphere, and for me, that managed to be enough to ignore some of the more annoying aspects of the film. It was not as constrained as the older Asian films tend to be, which was a nice change as it gave it a little bit of unpredictability.

On the other hand, the acting was quite bad. Sometimes it was bearable, other times it was ridiculously over-the-top (the children were constantly horrible though). The maid was quite creepy, but I found it impossible to believe that she was able to seduce anyone – especially a man who had already refused the attempts of seduction by two of his piano students – as she looked almost exactly like Margaret McPoyle from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She kept licking her lips as well, so all I could think of when I saw her was this. A lot of the events were pretty unbelievable as well and although most were forgivable because of the nice atmosphere, some were too badly written; such as when his student confesses to him and they have this random little fight.

Summary

The ending was alright, aside from the fourth wall breaking. The morals of the film are pretty stupid, but it builds up a creepy atmosphere and is well-paced so manages to be quite entertaining. Not as great as some people seem to be claiming, but not a bad watch either.

Rating: 7/10

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