Posted in Fantasia 2012, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews

Fantasia 2012 review: Hard Romanticker

Hard Romanticker (2011)
Director: Gu Su-Yeon ; Screenplay: Gu Mitsunori, Gu Su-Yeon
Cast: Shota Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Atsuro Watabe, Shido Nakamura

I had a hard time following the story of this film. I couldn’t really tell seemingly important characters apart as they all just seem to blend together. They all want to beat up the main character. In the end, none of it really mattered. The main character (Shoto Matsuda) plays the bad boy role very well so much so that you believe this thin actor whose almost comically skinny arms can really beat the crap out of others and take a beating too.

There are lots of punches and kicks that will make you wince. Upbeat music is sometimes employed during violent scenes which strangely enough actually works to get laughs. This juxtaposition manages to give some of the hard scenes a bit of a romantic feel. The film has its entertaining moments but as a whole it just seems pointless. Women are mostly just raped in the film. The ending is lame and convenient. Most of the characters are Zainichi (Koreans living in Japan) but I couldn’t tell you what bearing this had on the film.



Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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