The long time opening “Ride or Die” may recall the stadicam shot in “Goodfellas”. On a clear evening in Tokyo, Ree (Kiko Mizuhara) enters an underground club and buys a stranger to a tequila shot. The movement builds as Rey and the man retire to their condo and start having sex. In the end, the tension breaks – not in intercourse, but severely in the murder as Ri cuts the man’s throat.
Based on a Japanese manga series, “Ride or Die” ()On netflix) Follows the complex relationship between the two women: Ri, a reserved physician, and his longtime crush, Nane (Honami Sato). We learn that Nana’s husband, a stranger at the bar, was a wealthy businessman who physically abused her. When Nane asks Rei to kill him, Rei obliges to make love.
The remainder of this long, often puzzling film turns out to be a fugitive street film. After the murder, Ri and Nana escape to the countryside. They visit Nana’s childhood home and shelter from the rain at a railway depot. Despite the wild length Rie goes for Nana, the two did not speak for a decade before the murder. Their escape doubles as a reunion trip.
Director Ryuchi Hiroki outfitted the pair’s blossoming alliance with care. The food is many times for laughter and bonding, while flashbacks sometimes present the tender story of their union during the women’s prep school days. The film proudly captures the rhythm of intimacy, how it intensifies in a time of theft.
But as long as they develop a kinship, the women themselves are ciphers as well. We are asked to accept that Ri has committed the murder with a romantic homicide, but it is great to sympathize with her sacrifice. Nana’s feelings are also unclear – which she wants them to get out of their time together. This blurring of character is never clear, “ride or die” is as much an emotional experience as a sentimental one.
ride or die
Not rated. In Japanese, with subtitles. Running Time: 2 hours 22 minutes. Watch on Netflix.