The Lies She Loved (2017) Review: Unpredictable and Heartbreaking

'The Lies She Loved' or 'Uso wo Aisurru Onna' is a Japanese mystery romantic drama with a relatively slow pace but still be able to make you stay until the end, thanks to layered and unpredictable mysteries, heartbreaking twist and the stars charming performances especially the main character, Masami Nagasawa (Our Little Sister, Bleach).

The story revolves around Yukari Kawahara (Masami Nagasawa) who has a bright future ahead, a caring lover, and even more amazing she is the Woman of the Year in a magazine. Her life is so perfect, until one day a policeman comes looking for her boyfriend, Kippei Koide (Issei Takahashi).

Suddenly Yukari realizes that for five years of living together there are secrets she did not know about her boyfriend. With an unfinished novel, Yukari tries to uncover the secrets with a private detective Takumi (Kotaro Yoshida), a genius hacker Kimura (Daigo), and a mysterious waitress Kokoha (Rina Kawei).
Takumi, Daigo, Kokoho, and Yukari,via IMDb
The writer and director Kazuhito Nakae is able to sustain a slow but steady pace for almost two hours. Yet there are no draggy or boring scenes. This is quite impressive because 'The Lies She Loved' is Nakae's first feature film.

One of the things that makes this film works is the brilliant cast. The always charming Masami Nagasawa is so perfect portraying Yukari, a cheerful career woman who also has a dilemma between her career and her lover's secrets.

Issei Takahashi (Kill Bill, Blank 13) is excellent playing Kippei, a mysterious doctor whose life mostly is supported by his girlfriend. His character as a kindhearted, caring and supportive lover is convincing and makes us sympathize him.

Nagasawa and Takahashi' chemistry as a career woman and house husband is very natural, sweet, and romantic. It's so good that we feel betrayed when we know Kippei is lying and hiding something from Yukari all this time (not a spoiler).

Kotaro Yoshida (Assassination Classroom, Over Drive) is also doing a good job playing Takumi, the private detective. His character as an opportunist but wise old man makes the investigation felt like a fun road trip. His never-ending support of Yukari makes the story full of messages.
Takumi and Yukari,via IMDb
Furthermore, the movie's slow pace is less tedious thanks to the layered and unpredictable mysteries. They are delivered with uncomplicated dialogues and explained by moving and heartbreaking flashbacks. You can just sit back and enjoy your popcorn (or maybe wipe your tears) as Kippei's secrets unveil one by one.

The consequences of digging lover's secrets

The Lies She Loved tells about secrets in a relationship. Without giving it away, when Yukari hires Takumi, the detective warns her that digging her boyfriend's secrets will end up with regret.

This movie wants to tell us that if we are too curious and really want to know about our partner's past or secrets, we must be prepared with all the consequences. The secrets can kill our feelings and damage the relationship. But still, it depends on how we react to it.

The subplot about Takumi's past also supports this theme. At first, the subplot felt forced only to make the movie looks more complicated. But it doesn't. Takumi's past strengthens the movie theme.

This theme then is enforced by the Japanese workaholic culture issue which makes the twist even deeper.

The Lies She Loved movie is unpredictable, full of messages, and lightly presented.

Rating: 3.5/5 (Worth a watch)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Mistery
Director: Kazuhito Nakae
Writers: Kazuhito Nakae, Nozomi Kondo
Starring: Masami Nagasawa, Issey Takahashi, Daigo, Kôtarô Yoshida

This review was previously posted in Indonesian on Mariviu.com

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