Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bright Future アカルイミライ (2003)

Bright Future - Just as a general rule, it's not that hard to tell when you'll be impressed by a film. Usually, a simple plot synopsis will reveal everything. If it sounds original and interesting, then most of the time it will be so. Also, the enthusiasm that others show directly relates to the possible goodness of the film in question. Looking at reviews of Noisy Requiem, everyone seemed so taken with it, but I have yet to see it. This film was the same, just the screenshots piqued my interest. It looked so strange, and then reading as little as possible, for fear of spoilers, learning that it was a film about alienation from a horror director prompted me immediately. And yes, it's all validated. This is an extremely well-written and well-executed film about the thing that we try to avoid: the supermasssive black hole within the soul of modern man. Not being too existential, it deals with it directly, without expounding too much, but such a topic is welcome because it hardly ever gets mentioned. Beginning in understandable territory, Kurosawa presents us with the utter pointlessness of daily labor and the near impossibility of self-fulfillment in such a bog, and through the characters of Yuji and Mamoru, ODAGIRI Joe and ASANO Tadanobu respectively, he shows us how people escape this purgatory. The two guys in question are basically adults who never really grew up. The silly distractions such as pets and video arcades, along with the multitude of time wasters present in an urban sprawl, are seen as deterrents from confronting reality. Tokyo's neon wasteland must produces hundreds of thousands like these two, alienated from any real goal, left with nothing to accomplish. It's the problem with the first-world. And Odagiri is the definition of star quality. He has it all: looks, talent, charisma. Joe is the Will Smith of Japan.

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