The spy’s wife is a stylized period film that takes place in the forties and points out the atrocities that were committed in the Japanese country during the years of the fascist axis along with Italy and Germany. A historical and political background for a thriller of betrayals, heartbreak, madness and cinema. The elegant and beautiful leading couple (played by the magnificent Yû Aoi and Issei Takahashi) live in Kobe, where they live a comfortable and happy life. Until that harmony, represented by a house, a wardrobe and a color palette that borders on perfection, begins to squeak. And it does so because beneath that perfection hides an atrocity that will jeopardize the loyalty of the leading couple, faced with a series of gruesome events that the film exposes without falling into banal horror.
The film focuses on the woman of the title and her actions. A woman in love, lucid at times, but selfish and blind. A woman who in some way represents the dilemmas and mistakes of an entire people. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who won the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival, makes his film sail between the thriller and the love drama of the hand of a protagonist with whom we take a sad distance. The spy’s wife is a sober film, with a slow and enveloping rhythm that allows the director of Tokyo sonata to show without fanfare or underlining the dark side of love and your country. And faced with this idyllic and infernal landscape, Kurosawa appeals to the miracle of cinema, its mystery and magic. Either to talk about love, through that homemade fiction that films the marriage to entertain its guests, or as the last safeguard of the atrocious secret that the plot hides. Because the cinema, that medium so well exploited by fascist propaganda, is here the vehicle of resistance and truth.