In the winter of 2012, two bodies wash up on a beach, victims of a lovers’ suicide. One is an actress, the other a director of pinku eiga (erotic films); neither, it must be said, left much of a legacy behind. But the actress, Shoko Kirioka (Honami Sato), did have two previous partners, who meet for the first time several months later during the rainy season and proceed to get blitzed while reminiscing about their old flame.
It takes them a surprisingly long time to realize that they’re both talking about the same woman, but viewers of Haruhiko Arai’s “A Spoiling Rain” won’t be so in the dark. The main timeline of this rueful requiem of a film, shot in sepulchral monochrome, is interspersed with color flashbacks that chart the (downward) course of the two men’s relationships with Shoko. Neither of them come off well, though they’re at least sufficiently self-aware to know that they behaved badly. Inebriation can bring its own kind of clarity.
When Takahisa Iseki (Tasuku Emoto) first meets Shoko in 2000 — throwing up in the men’s toilet of an izakaya pub where he works — she’s a 20-year-old with dreams of making it as a stage actress. He’s pursuing a career in screenwriting, though his reasons for doing so are opaque, and this becomes a source of increasing friction between them.