Drama Review: The Real Thing (2020) By Koji Fukada

It isn’t quite common for a pageant to program a 10-episode collection, however that’s precisely what San Diego Asian Movie Competition did, screening the entire “The Actual Factor”, Fukada’s adaptation of Mochiru Hoshisato’s comedian ebook. An edited down model of the Nagoya TVproduction screened in Japan in October, whereas the movie was additionally proven in Cannes and Tokyo Movie Competition.

“The Actual Factor” is screening at Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema

The script focuses on Tsuji, a 30-year-old salaryman who works for a toy firm, whereas retaining two relationships with colleagues, one a extra severe one, with Naoko, his greater up within the firm, and yet one more “flimsical”, with Minako, a younger worker. The latter is heads over heels for him however he’s extra invested to Naoko, who shares his house incessantly and really is aware of about his different affair. One fateful evening, nonetheless, Tsuji saves Ukiyo from the practice tracks, a lady who appears utterly misplaced, each actually and metaphorically, and his life adjustments utterly. A slightly uncommon bond is shaped between the 2, as Ukiyo’s each transfer appears to be accompanied by bother, together with ones with the yakuza for loaning cash, and with quite a few males who’ve performed numerous roles in her life, whereas Tsuji appears to be there each time for her. His fascination with this poisonous femme fatale ultimately takes a toll on each his work and his different relationships, however he finds it very exhausting to let go, regardless of the cautioning by Naoko and quite a few Ukiyo’s acquaintances. The looks of Daisuke complicates issues much more.

Koji Fukada directs an intricate film that focuses on the way in which individuals discover themselves bonded with others, and notably how the “saviors” (individuals who at all times need to assist others) discover themselves related with the “victims” (individuals who at all times appear to be in want of assist). The narrative relies upon this idea as a lot as upon the thriller surrounding Ukiyo, and notably the query of whether or not she is a real sufferer of her circumstances or a femme fatale set on exploiting all the boys that come throughout her. The way in which this thriller surrounding her brings collectively numerous males in her life can be properly portrayed, with every new look including as many questions as solutions to her true character. This half truly carries the collection at the least till the final episodes, the place the looks of Daisuke (which appears considerably extreme, by way of script) absolutely reveals her true nature and the explanations she turned as such.

One other very fascinating axis is the connection between Tsuji and Naoko, with the latter exhibiting tons of understanding and sympathy for the previous, and him returning as little as attainable. The way in which the stress between them rises is a marvel to look at, till the ultimate launch, in one of the vital memorable scenes within the collection, which highlights the general wonderful appearing of Kei Ishibashi.

Lastly, the lives of the salarymen in Japan and the idea of “workplace politics” is one other central a part of the narrative, with Fukada presenting the hypocrisy and the cruelty that surrounds it, a facet that turns into extra intense near the tip of the collection.

Other than Naoko, nonetheless, the remainder of the characters emerge as considerably unlikeable and even annoying at occasions, at the least for a big a part of the collection, since all of them are portrayed as each victims and perpetrators. Moreover, Tsuji’s causes of fascination with Ukiyo are ultimately revealed as the best, considerably detracting the influence of the thriller round his actions. Alternatively, this final half could possibly be interpreted as a touch upon how individuals stay in denial and the way troublesome it’s to let go, with Fukada taking part in with the concept that since Tsuji saved Ukiyo’s life, he’s now accountable for her.

Win Morisaki as Tsuji portrays his character convincingly, notably for the truth that he’s not as difficult as he or some ladies round him suppose. Kaho Tsuchimura as Ukiyo can be fairly good because the troublesome femme fatale/sufferer, whereas their chemistry works fairly properly, at the least for probably the most half. Shugo Oshinari as Daisuke can be passable, notably in the way in which he depicts a persona that hides many points beneath the picture of success he emits.

As common in Fukada’s works, the technical facet of is top-notch, with Kosuke Haruki’s cinematography portray the world in slightly bleak colours that match the narrative to perfection. On the identical time, the slight noir factor of the collection advantages probably the most from his framing, notably within the scenes the place the yakuza are concerned. Zensuke Hori’s enhancing implements a comparatively quick tempo that fits the episodic nature of the collection, whereas the sense of hazard the story often emits advantages probably the most by his strategy as a lot because the sound of the manufacturing.

The antithetical mixture of unlikable however intriguing characters and the general environment of thriller ultimately lean in the direction of the latter, with the collection rising as a slightly fascinating watch, additionally as a result of total cinematic prowess. Moreover, I really feel that the title works fairly higher as a collection than a film, with the breaks between the episodes permitting for a neater watch.



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