Netflix film Ride or Die, a Japanese psychological thriller released today. The film is based on the manga series Gunjō written by Ching Nakamura. Ryuichi Hiroki has directed the film, and Nami Sakkawa pens the screenplay. It stars Kiko Mizuhara and Honami Satô. Read our review to know what the film is about!
Ride or Die is a story about love, murder and madness. I read a bit about the manga series Gunjō to know what the original story was about. In the manga, too, the character was lesbian. However, the ladies had no names. They were addressed as Ms Lesbian and Glasses. But director Ryuchi and writer Nami have given our protagonists names in the Netflix thriller.
Rei Nagasawa (Kiko Mizuhara) is a rich and successful surgeon living with her girlfriend. One day, she gets a call from her teenage crush Nanae Shinoda (Honami Satô), who requests Rei to meet her. When they meet, Nanae tells Rei that her husband is physically abusing her and shows all the wounds and bruises on her body. In pain, Nanae tells Rei that either she wants to die or her husbands needs to die. Those words were enough to push Rei towards the murder.
Nanae, who is shown as a straight woman in Ride or Die, cannot believe the lengths to which Rei could go for her. However, rather than abandoning her for killing her abusive husband, she escapes with her from the city. Their journey on the road unveils their past, deeper emotions and everything about their intentions.
Ride or Die is a 2 hour 22 minutes film, and most of it is shot on the road. There’s bloodshed; there are extreme nudity and some exciting twists too. You want to know what their fate is. Will Nanae betray Rei at any point? Will the cops catch hold of them? Will Rei kill her true love because she didn’t reciprocate her feelings even when she murdered to save her? You are glued to the screen to get the answers.
Another factor that will impress you about Ride or Die is how the characters are written. Rei and Nanae are scared, but they wildly live every moment with laughter and fun. Yes, there are breakdowns, fights and some disturbing scenes too. But nothing manages to break the spirits of these women till the end. Kiko Mizuhara and Honami Satô have done a commendable job.
What doesn’t work for Ride or Die is its pace. Tadashi Kuwabara’s cinematography is bewitching as he captured the long shots of some beautiful places in Japan. However, the time he takes to focus on the main subject tests your patience. For example, the film starts with Rie entering a night club. However, she is walking in the bar for more than 2 and a half minutes until she takes a seat. We are not even shown her face till then. Keeping someone excited to see who’s the character is fun. But taking too long to reveal at the beginning of the film is a bitof a buzz kill.
Ride or Die: Is it worth it?
Overall, Ride or Die is a bloody love story with a wild road trip that you must experience. The performances and the explosion of emotions in bits and pieces work the best. It’s an R-rated film as it has lots of nudity and blood scenes.
Ride or Die is currently streaming on Netflix.
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