In Cinemas FEBRUARY 10
Yusuke Kafuku, a stage actor and director, still unable, after two years, to cope with the loss of his beloved wife, accepts to direct Uncle Vanja at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There he meets Misaki, an introverted young woman, appointed to drive his car. In between rides, secrets from the past and heartfelt confessions will be unveiled. As they spend time together, Kafuku confronts the mystery of his wife that quietly haunts him.
If you are a fan of little films that seem quiet on the surface but deep down have jarring tremors of emotions, then this 3 hour art-house gem from Japanese writer-director Ryusuke Hamaguchi is a must-see. The director, along with co-writer Takamasa Oe, adapted the script from the short story by Haruki Murakami, part of his “Men Without Women” collection. The story revolves around Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”.
In what may be the longest prologue in cinematic history, the opening credits finally roll about 35-40 minutes in. But that first segment is absolutely terrific. Probably the most complexed drama this year. First it was an unique exploration of love and loss from the weird relationship between the stage director and his driver. Then it’s an ambitious celebration of life where the our troubled director found his will to live. In between was the beautiful cinematography and score that created the calm and immersive atmosphere whenever the car’s wheels turns.
This movie is incredibly patient. The dialogues of the stage play was slowly revealed. The relationship between the two main characters didn’t really kick in until halfway through. For awhile I thought this movie was going nowhere. However, when the big character change hit, my mind was blown away. It brought so much meaning to the bizarre stories and conversations from the last three hours.
Overall, a layered and gorgeous drama that can be too complexed for me at times.
Thanks to Potential Films