Friday, 2 March 2012

Adrift in Tokyo

Leading a lazy life, Fumiya has been a university student for 8 years and owes money to loan sharks. 
One day, a man named Fukuhara comes to collect the loan, which Fumiya cannot pay. So Fukuhara 
makes a proposition: He will cancel the debt as long as Fumiya agrees to walk with him across Tokyo 
to the police station of Kasumigaseki, where he intends to turn himself in for a crime he deeply regrets. 
Not having much choice, Fumiya accepts the deal.
Thus begins their journey which will lead them to various unusual
encounters, most of all with themselves. Based on the original novel by
Naoki Prize winner Yoshinaga Fujita comes a fascinating, humorous and wildly
clever film.

The film directed by Miki Satoshi cleverly blends the offbeat humour and wild premise together to 
create a wonderful somnabulist world in which these two men find themselves in.  Indebted to the 
Linklater double-bill of Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2005) - here is an opportunity to 
watch two fine actors showcase both their comedy and dramatic chops.
Jo Odagiri plays Fumiya as a loveable rogue who is slowly becoming a man-child, someone who 
cannot leave the happiness of college as he has found his place in life at that instance. Tomokazu 
Miura plays the older, debt collector - Fukuharu - with a bit of sterness yet you know from the 
outset that a heart of gold will slowly appear to us and Fumiya.
Whilst the scenes between the two leads are expertly handled and played, the people they 
meet on their long journey unfortunately do not receive the same tenderness from the director. 
Too many of the oddballs and characters are depicted as one-dimensional, this may not be 
helped by the premise as they are only fleeting glances of any one character, yet no cameo can 
be deemed memorable.
Like most things in life however, you will indelibly find something worthwhile on this journey, 
much like the protagonists do.
Adrift in Tokyo is out now on DVD from Third Window Films

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