Picture Bride

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

In 1918 Hawaii, a Japanese sugar cane farm laborer named Matsuji (Akira Takayama) has saved for years to pay for a bride. He is matched with Riyo (Youki Kudoh), a dainty, city-bred Japanese girl recently orphaned. Who can blame him if he sends the matchmaker a photograph taken when he was much younger and some borrowed Japanese poetry to impress his betrothed? The look on her face when she arrives in Hawaii and sees him for the first time tells it all. She is shocked at his age, disappointed at his humble way of life, and scared by the reality that she must become a laborer in the cane fields. Riyo rejects all advances from Matsuji and takes a second job doing laundry to save enough money to return "home" to Japan. To Matsuji, Hawaii is home, and he tries to share that vision with his wife. The audience will have fallen in love with both Hawaii and Matsuji long before Riyo does. If you can't afford a Hawaiian vacation, PICTURE BRIDE is a delightful substitute with its picture postcard scenery. Not even the English subtitles will detract from this well done, romanticized character study of a marriage in another time and culture.

PICTURE BRIDE's adult subject matter is not appropriate for children, but there is nothing offensive about it. Matsuji, though a laborer, is nobel and poetic. He is forgiving, even when he learns Riyo has a secret of her own. However, when she continually rejects him, he resorts to drinking and gambling. The dawning of mutual sexual desire between Matsuji and Riyo is not explicit, but a joy to behold. Also, there are a few harsh elements in the movie. For example, a mother and child are killed in a fire in the cane fields, and the Filipino and Japanese laborers fight among themselves. The everyday life is hard, and the workers threaten to strike against the unfeeling overseer. And it's unfortunate that Riyo has an occultic encounter with a dead friend. Otherwise, PICTURE BRIDE can be enjoyed for what it is: a fascinating adult film.

Preview Reviewer: Margaret Reid
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., NY, NY 10017]

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Few (2) times (in songs)

Profanity: None

Violence: Few times - Moderate (fighting among laborers; mother and child killed in fire; woman shows signs of abuse)

Sex: Once (no nudity; married couple); implied once (married couple)

Nudity: Once (female rear nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Prostitutes shown in gambling hall

Drugs: Smoking, some drunkenness

Other: Dead person shown communicating with living person; gambling (not condoned)

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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