Mika Ninagawa’s anticipated second feature was released in Tokyo a week ago. Helter Skelter (ヘルタースケルター) explores fascinating themes of narcissism, modern day idolatry, the beauty industry and the commodification of ‘talent’. Fans of Ninagawa’s Sakuran won’t be disappointed as the movie’s visual styling is gorgeous and the director’s surreal, psychedelic directorial touches are in full flight.
Erika Sawajiri – in a career relaunch – is beautifully cast as Lilico (リリコ) and gives a nuanced, multi-faceted performance that ranges from sugary lolita to scheming psychopath.
The movie is based on Kyoko Okazaki’s award-winning manga of the same name, though I found the script to be the film’s weakness: supporting characters are underdeveloped as is the storyline.
Overall, Helter Skelter offers the viewer a rich, atmospheric film experience full of striking visual imagery, a lush soundtrack and emotional resonance.
ヘルター スケルター 2012 : : director Mika Ninagawa