Gohatto review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

The title of the latest film by the director of In The Realm Of The Senses translates as "taboo", so you'd expect something shockingly controversial. Instead Gohatto is a confusing and often boring examination of forbidden love among 19th century samurai.

New recruit Kano (Ryuhei Matsuda) has a pure, androgynous beauty that has a disruptive effect on his fellow trainees. Soon sexual tension is running high and blood is running freely. But although homosexuality was tolerated - - promoted even - - within the world of the samurai, Oshima sees it as a destructive, negative force.

The lyrical mood is reinforced by a strong score from Ryuichi Sakamoto, but the director's approach is too detached and abstract to engage viewers on an emotional level. His heavy-handed methods - - wordy intertitles and voiceovers - - fail to clarify problems of story, character and time-frame.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.