Notable Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Eri Fukatsu, Kaoru Okunuki, Akira Emoto, Yu Aoi, Masao Komatsu
I walked away from this film as irritated as I was pleased and thankful that I had the chance to see this newest outing (save Creepy, which I think hasn't even opened in Japan yet) by longtime favorite of mine, Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Retribution, Tokyo Sonata). It's a film that is slow, beautiful, heartbreaking, and at the same time it's uninteresting and dull in parts. Oddly, I think it works in the end, though I couldn't help but find myself not caring at moments, but I'll get to that later.
First off, I want to jump straight into the acting and say from the get go that Tadanobu Asano and Eri Fukatsu perfectly embody and sell their chemistry together as a couple. I never had a moment of disbelief, and I think that is what elevates this film, aside from the usual stuff you expect in a KK film (mood, atmosphere, and the overall look of his works are always something to be had). I have always admired Asano, and I think this is one of the better performances he has given in recent memory.
|"Will you see me again?"
As I mentioned before, the film is gorgeous to look at. Ranging from very wide shots, to up-close and intimate reactionary shots, I could feel and absorb every emotion that the two leads, and even the supporters for that matter, gave off in each and every scene. I think it is a wonderfully crafted film that is too bloated for its own good.
|"Nothingness is not the same as meaninglessness."
Emotionally, it does work. I won't spoil, but a moment towards the end left a certain sting and feeling I wasn't quite expecting. It was beautiful and I was completely taken aback. I wish more moments like that were placed throughout. I mean there are a ton of great pieces, but there is far too much filler between the moments that, once again, leave you wanting more.
|"The wheels on the bus go round and round......"
Written by Josh Parmer