Ride or Die is a Japanese Netflix manga film about two lesbian lovers. Who try to escape their troubles, including murder. Director Ryuichi Hiroki adapted the graphic novel Ching Nakamura Gunjo. With all the graphic s*x and violence and the 142-minute curvy narrative needed. It’s a little hard to sell, but maybe it will be worth buying in the end?
The Gist: Ride or Die:
Ray (Kiko Mizuhara) walks through a nightclub in Tokyo. Bathed in a neon rainbow: yellow here, red there, blue in another corner. He parked a few spots at the bar from a guy, bought two double tequilas, and shipped one-off. It didn’t take long for him to return to his apartment, undressing and cheating. He stabbed his neck with a scalpel and finished the broken wine glass sprayed with blood from his throat. It looked exactly like that – the first time Ray had killed someone.
It’s over – well, it seems awkward that Ray is gay and Nanae is not:
Although I do question it a little. You are 29 years old now. Ray gave up everything and walked over to him. Nanae is naked and hot but isn’t: she’s bruised. Ray tried to hug her, but it hurt too much. Nana’s husband beat her and beat her. He asked Ray if he was going to kill him. You know the answer because it’s in the opening sequence. This is Mr. Shinoda. Or Mr. Shinoda, a wealthy socialist who exploits disadvantaged women because of his various weaknesses. And now it’s making sensational headlines in the newspapers, but it’s nothing, not at all.
So the two women ran away. Returning to high school when Ray couldn’t reveal his s*xuality to a wealthy family. And Nanae lived in a shack with his father, who was also physically abused. Ray observes from the window as Nanae goes on an athletic scholarship. Ray also watches as Nanae tries to steal a train fight from a sports shop. He was paying for the shoes when Nanae was caught. A decade later, Ray had to remove a pair of sandals from him after Nanae lost one of his pumps. When he ran away from a bicycle cop and stole a supply moped. Which he rode and rode until he ran out of gas and then had to. Find out another.
Their lives will continue like this for the next few days:
In a strange state of tantalizing tension leading to the inevitable. As their trail could not be more comprehensive if they bulldozed out of the scene and posted their location on Instagram. Sometimes they talk about their situation in moments of wetness, cracking, harshness, and sometimes disturbing violence. Other times they sing their favorite tunes on the radio. Or play a life board game in moments of almost ridiculous irony – as carefree teenagers never like before. I never had any doubts if they would get caught because that’s not the point at all. The real puzzle here is whether they are ending their relationship. Or even defining it in a way that anyone, including yourself, can understand.
Our View: The most vital component of this film is its stubborn reluctance. To make the relationship between Ray and Nanae sweet, gentle, calm, affectionate, affectionate, controversial, mature, childish, lustful, or some other similar conventional descriptor. So far, I think their dynamic is strange – one manipulates the other to commit murder, and the other commits murder. Everyone gets a scene where they put their arm around the other’s neck while they sleep. Almost making us believe they’re going to squeeze. RIDE OR DEAD, BABY.
It’s easier to evaluate Ride or Die in concept than performance.
It goes through designs with extended flashbacks that go nowhere. A bit for Ray’s abandoned girlfriend is a touching but mostly pointless sketch thrown in the middle of the film. And a generous examination of a character who still doesn’t seem like enough. It begins with an incredible opportunity and ends with a shocking worldly disappointment. Sometimes it offers exciting drama. On the other hand, it is shallow, fragile, and condescending. At its most potent when Ray and Nanae openly think about killing each other or themselves. We don’t know if they are giving off rotten guts and real or hurtful jokes or just moaning like a teenager. Goth.
We are forced to sympathize for various reasons:
Nanae’s lifelong violence and socio-economic struggles, Ray’s reluctance to accept her as a gay woman, the fact that Mr. Shinoda is a violent idiot who is completely hopeless. Nanae, and maybe he came. Everything is so morally dirty that it challenges us – well, we don’t care. I don’t know if I want them to run away and live happily ever after. Be caught and ransomed for their crimes, or ride a retro Thunderbird overboard to drown forever.
You can totally skip it, unless you’re ready for a good, long, drawn-out, or dead journey that doesn’t live up to its potential.