[ Directed by ]
[ Produced by ]
• HIGASHI Koji
• OKI Takako
• WATANABE Naoko
• UEMURA Maki
[ Cast ]
• TAKENOUCHI Yutaka NISHINO Yukihiko
• ONO Machiko Manami
• ASO Kumiko Natsumi
[ Staff ]
• Original Story: KAWAKAMI Hiromi
• Screenplay: IGUCHI Nami
• Cinematography: SUZUKI Akihiko
• Sound Recording: TAKATA Shinya
IGUCHI Nami Editor
[ Production Company ]
TOHO, KTV, DENTSU, Mainichi Newspapers, KEN ON, Gambit, CYBER AGENT, KDDI
[ Distributor (Japan) ]
TOHO Visual Entertainment
[ Production Studio ]
Release Date: February 8, 2014
Running Time: 122 min
Genre: Drama, Romance, Feature
Screening Format: DCP
Screen Size: American Vista (1:1.85)
Sound Processing: Uncompressed 5.1ch
[ Story ]
A love story based on the novel of the same title by Akutagawa Prize-winning author Kawakami Hiromi, who also enjoys considerable popularity abroad. Director Iguchi Nami, who returns with her first film in five years since
Sex is No Laughing Matter, depicts the course of romantic relations between the protagonist and seven women.
Nishino Yukihiko (Takenouchi Yutaka) is perfect on the inside and outside, and is irresistible to women. He is never without charming female company. He satisfies their desires and leads the life of an aesthete, but even so…
[ Official Site ]
Nishino (surname) Yukihiko (name), is definitely a handsome man. Its refined sloppy air, its slightly loose rhythm, its availability to events that oscillates between kindness and lasciviousness, automatically make it an object of desire for ladies of all ages. And he, although he always seems a little lazy, never backs down. His serendipity is such that, on more than one occasion, he finds himself with two of his lovers, not in bed but around a bar table or someone’s home. The women foam, they try the fight but he, Olympic, lets do it, so he knows that they will come back and that if they don’t come back, others will come. A natural talent or, in terms, a bit derogatory, a butterfly.
His real problem, however, is that he would like to find great love, get married, have a family. But no one believes him. Indeed, from this point of view it is much less attractive. Condemned to this misunderstanding, he passes from woman to woman, graceful and disenchanted, without ever giving up proposing himself in marriage. But fate has something else in store for him …
Iguchi Nami made his debut in 2001 with Inuneko, an 8 mm film. which earned her a prize at the PIA Film Festival. In 2004 he made it a new 35 mm version, always with the title Inuneko (The Cat Leaves Home) that won her the Turin Film Festival. An intelligent and sensitive film, with explicit tributes to Ozu, starting with the style of the opening credits. Three years of silence and in 2007, he made Hito no sex wo warauna (Don’t Laugh at My Romance), another touching film with an Aoi Yū in full form.
Now, after an episode in the omnibus Hikarie eiga (2013), it returns with this Nishino Yukihiko no ai to bōken (whose literal translation is “Loves and adventures of Yukihiko Nishino”), taken from the eponymous 2006 novel by Kawakami Hiromi, a writer who could be called syntonic with the Iguchi for subliminal delicacy and expressiveness and who is beginning to be known also in Italy with the translations of Antonietta Pastore for Einaudi.
The style “alla Ozu” is always there – the room is always quite low, even if not at tatami height, most of the fixed shots, the use of “transitions”, that is fixed images of exteriors to mark the passage from a scene to the other, a moderate use of close-ups – just as there is always a noticeable sensitivity to people’s movements and psychologies and an overall style not shouted but made up of nuances that are composed in meaning. Beyond these undisputed merits, however, the impression is that in this film creativity stagnates a little. On the one hand, there are already so many figures like that of the protagonist in European cinema, in particular French (not only Truffaut). On the other hand, because the “solitude” of the protagonist, rather than being shown, is declared by the characters and even by an off-screen voice, thus emptying the existential afflatus. Perhaps the Iguchi with this film wanted to play, albeit in a purposeful sense, but it made me a less touching effect than the two previous films. Even the use of a clever narrative form in the story even with the intervention of a ghost, is so amusing in the assumption but it does not add anything to the economy of history. We hope not to have to wait another three or four years before seeing the next film of what is in any case a director to always keep an eye on.
Takenouchi Yutaka in the role of Yukihiko is good and good at playing the part; compared to its possible French and Italian predecessors, it may lack determination and arrogance but compensates with morbidity and fatalism. Among the various women who revolve around him, Asō Kumiko appears little, cold and suggestive as always, while the lion’s share of expression makes Ono Machiko, recently seen in Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son. Narumi Riko, deliciously a little less massive and a little more feminine, is the neighbor who passes by the balcony to look for the cat in Yukihiko’s house and then waits for him sleeping on the sofa. The dream of every man.