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. Soaked in blood, Rei is struck with a pang of remorse.
The film moves back in time to reveal Rei’s reasons. Rei is a lesbian who has 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 became 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 same 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 tries 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 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 a few coins and a restaurant bill in Nanae’s pursue. Nanae kept the restaurant bill and coins as a souvenir. It belonged to the time when they last met before separating 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 lives near the shore. They start living in a wooden house and call themselves a family, something Nanae had desired for a long time. And yes, they eventually sleep together.
The next morning, after waking up beside Nanae, Rei walks down the road. She looked content. She spots a public booth and makes a call to someone. A few moments later, the police arrive and arrest 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 depicts that it was Rei who called the cops and turned herself in. Maybe, Rei just wanted to be with Nanae for once. She wanted to have the comfort of Nanae holding her like a loved one, and when she finally achieve that love, her pursuit for Nanae’s love came to an end. Hence, in the end, Rei decided to lower the guard and stop running from the world.
When the cops take 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 (Kanojo) is a 2021 psychological thriller film directed by Ryuichi Hiroki. It is streaming on Netflix.
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