‘Woman of the Photographs’ review: Looks Obsession for Likes
‘Woman of the Photographs‘ is a rich social media commentary on the obsessive need to photoshop photos to perfection for likes & engagement… To the point a woman’s real self, her flaws and scars, are against site policy.
This film review contains spoilers for the movie, ‘Woman of the Photographs’.
If there was ever a film that was a complete, bleak statement on the world’s obsession to photoshop themselves for acceptance, ‘Woman of the Photographs‘ is it.
Centering around a strange, almost mute expert photographer Kai (Hideki Nagai) and free spirit Yoga model Kyoko (Itsuki Otaki) this movie is downright brutally honest on the lengths people will go to be ‘liked’.
Memorable Moments in ‘Woman of the Photographs’
“A Good Lie Makes People Happy”
Early on in the film, a woman (Toki Koinuma) goes to photographer Kai before submitting her headshot to a dating service.
She has Kai digitally photoshop her face and body entirely, making her face look more thin, her breasts larger, her eyes and lips bigger and cleaning her skin. Having Kai remove a mole.
She would continue this photoshop habit throughout Woman in the Photograph until meeting a man that would become her husband. Another loyal customer (Toshiaki Inomata) of Kai’s photography store explains to Kyoko how, “a good lie can make someone happy.”
Losing engagement, fired from sponsors
Initially, Kyoko has Kai remove a scar on her chest (via photoshop) she got trying to take a risky photo from atop a tree. Which Kyoko fell from. However, due to decreasing likes and comments on the film’s version of Instagram, her sponsor drops her.
Telling Kyoko, her trajectory is on the way down and usually when this happens to a model, they don’t recover.
True self finds acceptance but ultimately rejected
Mentally damaged and trying to separate herself from the woman at Kai’s store, Kyoko asks him to place the scars back in her photos.
She publishes the photo on faux Instagram and is heralded for her bravery, getting thousands of likes and comments. Reliving her glory days on stage as a kind of beauty queen.
Kyoko decides the scar is her signature and gateway to staying relevant, so she keeps it open. Slowly, this act becomes one of self-abuse as Kyoko won’t let her scar heal properly.
One day, the film’s version of Instagram removes all her scar filled photos from the service. Citing site policy against self-harm. In essence, rejecting the real version of Kyoko from even appearing on social media.
It’s Woman of the Photograph’s strongest scene easily and you’ll never forget it upon watching.
Seeing a daughter again
‘Woman of the Photographs‘ does have one feel-good aspect of photoshops. When loyal businessman customer asks Kai to age a photo of his deceased young daughter who had died in tragedy many years ago.
Kai creates the photoshop which makes the customer (Toshiaki Inomata) extraordinarily happy. Again, playing on the concept of ‘a good lie bringing others joy’.
If you’re looking for expertly crafted commentary on social media and photoshop, watch ‘Woman on the Photographs‘. It’s a great film that doesn’t push any agendas, just reflects a brutal reality.
– ‘Woman on the Photographs‘ is available now on-demand everywhere. Learn more about the movie’s VOD availability at places like Amazon at Epic Pictures.
The film is directed and written by Takeshi Kushida.
‘Woman on the Photographs’ Trailer and Plot Synopsis:
PLOT SYNOPSIS: “Solitary and skilled photographer Kai (Hideki Nagai) is afraid of women. When he encounters a beautiful model, Kyoko (Itsuki Otaki) suffering from body dysmorphia, they begin a twisted romance. Kai is determined to save Kyoko from her anguishes, even if it means death to himself.”
Read more Japanese Movie Reviews
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– ‘April Story’ Movie Review – Japan Society NYC Film Screening
– ‘Love Letter’ Movie Review – Japan Society NYC Film Screening
– Japan Society NYC Movie Review: ‘Fireworks Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?’