Film Review: The Make Up Room

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I’ve been searching for ‘The Make Up Room’ everywhere and I finally managed to get my hands on a copy! The plot sounds interesting and I thought I would give it a go. From the description I thought it would be quite a crazy, bizarre film. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was an awesome concept, delivered perfectly on screen. The Make Up Room is a film that I feel would surprise you.

Name: The Make Up Room
Release: 2014
Country: Japan
Director: Kei Morikawa
Writer: Kei Morikawa
Actor(s): Ben Ito
Nanami Kawakami
Lily Kuribayashi

Plot
The Make Up Room is a ‘fly on the wall’ style film on the Adult Film Industry. Based on the experiences of the director it gives you a first hand look on the day-to-day lives of these actresses. Make-up artist Tsuzuki finds herself in the middle of chaos when she ends up being the only person taking care of a large and varied cast of adult video stars. Tsuzuki must navigate through egos, controlling directors and production issues while trying to keep the cast and crew calm during the long shoot! Shot in one room and starring many adult actresses, director Kei Morikawa looks at his own experiences in the porn industry.

All filmed in one room. they’ve managed to use the tiny space they were given quite well. No one appeared on top of eachother and not one scene looked too busy. The colour was quite mundane throughout the whole film, mostly white, grey or muddy green, so whenever a spark of colour came in shot it’s always noticeable. It’s such a bizarre film, especially since it’s an honest portrayal through the eyes if the director who has worked in Pink Film and the Porn Industry. It’s a bizarre reality to view and it makes you wonder how can this be anyone’s reality, even though it is a reality to many people.

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It’s fascinating how serious everyone takes their job, because, you know, it’s their job and to us the viewer it’s a strange reality but to the cast, this is their reality outside of this film. It’s also pretty strange how brazen and non-chalent they speak about certain subjects. In the film you become aware that the script contains a scene of ‘furious rape’ and instead of appearing terrified about what might happen and being dead against it, they just moan and groan and have a ‘Oh do I have to?’ attitude, which astonished me.

I found myself asking how the came up with some of the lines in their script. In one scene one of the actresses says, ‘My pussy is bleeding. The actor fingered me like I was a pinball machine’, which left me dumbfounded, not just by the line but also the way it was delivered. More fed up than upset. Expecting a shocked reply the make up artist says ‘Oh that’s just blah blah, stick a sponge inside you and you’ll be fine’. I found myself going ‘…what?!’. If that would’ve been me I would’ve been horrified, gone up there and given the actor a right slap. The script catches you off guard. There is no massive climax, this is just a day in the life of the make-up artist.

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As I briefly mentioned above I do love how seriously everyone takes their job role, especially the director and the make-up artist, it’s quite admirable to watch. The chemistry between the director and the cameraman is really funny, I found myself giggling to one or two of their encounters together. The film does give you a somewhat positive viewpoint of the industry, which of course, cannot be said for all parts of the industry. Obviously there are some uncomfortable situations but it all happens off screen. What I also adore about this film is how the characters are all supportive of one another and respect each other. The crew clearly care a lot about the actresses while the stars always seem to help each other out. There is a strong sense of sisterhood in the film, which is always a nice touch.

While I was watching the film I thought, ‘Waw, with the one location and with the style of acting this would make a really good play’. Whilst watching the special features and watching the interviews with the cast and crew I found out that it is, in actual fact, a play!!

Overall, this is such a heartwarming film, in the weirdest way possible. All the characters are likeable and I found myself muttering ‘Awhh guys stop being cute’. It is a really really sweet and funny film, not what I was expecting at all.

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