Obsession of human beings robs them of their logical reasoning and self-integrity. Falling prey to our delusions, we act without prudence Sometimes we call this foolishness an act of love, and this kind of love is what one can witness in the Japanese Film, Ride or Die or Kanojo in Japanese.
‘Ride or Die’ Summary
Set in modern-day Tokyo the film follows a dermatologist and surprisingly even a plastic surgeon, Rei Nagasawa (Kiko Mizuhara). Rei meets a man in the bar and visits his place to have leisure time, when suddenly, out of the blue, she slits the man’s throat with a surgical knife. Drained in blood, Rei is struck with a pang of remorse.
The film moves back in time to reveal out Rei’s reasons. Rei is a lesbian who had a strong infatuation with a straight girl named Nanae Shinoda (Honami Sato). Nanae was poor and she used to sleep around and steal goods to support her education. Rei badly wanted to sleep with Nanae so she offered her some money, as she was filthy rich. Nanae rejected the money and Rei’s proposal but they become quite good friends.
A few years later, in the present, Nanae calls out to Rei and informs her about the domestic violence from her husband. Nanae’s body is brutally bruised and her spirit shattered. She is on the verge of killing herself. Rei cannot look at her condition and decides to kill her husband, the man she killed in the opening sequences.
Now both Rei and Nanae are running away from the police. They decide to turn themselves in but Rei decides otherwise. She wants to live her fugitive life with Nanae. The film further explores their complicated relationship where one lesbian girl is trying to sleep with a straight girl, unsure whether the driving force is love or just lust.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Ride or Die’ Ending Explained
On their runaway journey, Rei tried her best to find love or acceptance from Nanae. She sacrificed her normal life, she killed a man for her yet Nanae still considers her a friend and nothing else. The thought enrages her to the core. After a massive verbal fight between the two, Rei finds out few coins and a restaurant bill in Nanae’s pursue.
This restaurant bill and coins were kept by Nanae as a souvenir. It belonged to the time when they last met before parting apart in college. This gesture melts down the barrier between the two and they both decide to run away forever.
Nanae and Rei start their new life near a shore. They start living in a wood house and call themselves a family, something Nanae was wishing for a long time. And yes, they eventually had sex.
After sex, Rei walks down the road. She looks content. She spots a public booth and makes a call to someone. A few moments later, the police arrive and arrests both Nanae and Rei from the gas station.
In her last moments, Rei doesn’t try to run away. She isn’t even shocked to see the cops. Her expressions are evidence that it was Rei who called the cops and turned herself in. Maybe, Rei just wanted to sleep with Nanae for once and when her long-desired dream came true, she decided to lower the guard and stop running.
When cops are taking away Rei, Nanae now in love with her promises to wait for her. It sparks a ray of hope for Rei. Maybe, they’ll be able to start things again, and this time, without using each other or running from the police.
Ride or Die is a long and tiring tale of toxic love. Everything is wrong with the film. It is brutal, gory, and sickening. The narrative plays with your nerves and compels you to just stop it. I literally had to push myself into watching it but I was given an option, I would have rather stay away from this.
The kind of maddening obsession for love and lust portrayed in the film is hideous. It sets utterly wrong standards and communicates all the wrong meanings of love. The film also runs for 2 hours and 24 minutes without any substantial plot and it keeps swinging like a pendulum at the same place. Yes, that is the kind of dull and monotonous the film is.
For all the good reasons, if you can avoid Ride or Die, please do.
Ride or Die (Kanojo) is a 2021 psychological thriller film directed by Ryuichi Hiroki. It is streaming on Netflix.
For more Quality Content, Do visit Digital Mafia Talkies | DMT