Kana Yamada’s directorial debut, Life: Untitled, begins with a jarring opening where the viewer is addressed directly by a young woman standing there without a shirt, and is asked, “is my life worth anything?” Life is adapted from Yamada’s own stage play, and stars Sairi Ito as protagonist Kano, who has recently begun working as a staff member for a group of female escorts when she decides that she is unable to work as an escort herself. Drama ensues over the course of a few days as the group slowly begins to unravel before our eyes.

Life: Untitled starts off quite strong, immediately drawing the viewer in, but as it continues on, the rest leaves much to be desired. Despite there being glimpses of some truly good performances, especially from Ito and Yuri Tsunematsu as Mahiru, the film gets weighed down by its insistence on juggling too many storylines at once. This leads the viewer to feel disconnected from every character, as the film never focuses on anyone long enough for their stories to leave a lasting impact or give us any semblance of character development.

The message that comes across in the film reads as extremely negative towards women in sex work, with the vile way these women are treated by men, and even the way they see themselves and each other is always portrayed as degrading. This is shown without giving any sort of commentary other than the fact that life is hopeless.

Life: Untitled is a film that truly had the potential to be great, but it leaves you with a sense of emptiness and a bleak outlook on life. The slow pace is suddenly rushed towards a screeching halt, making it hard to feel any sense of fulfilment. 



CAST: Sairi Ito, Yuri Tsunematsu, Kokoro Morita, Aika Yukihira, Wan Marui

DIRECTOR: Kana Yamada

WRITER: Kana Yamada

SYNOPSIS: This film portrays women’s lives intersecting with a Tokyo escort service.