I am a huge fan of Satoshi Miki’s Adrift in Tokyo (one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen and one of my favourites of all time) but despite that I wasn’t necessarily that eager to see this new film based on the premise. However, watching the trailer promised some good laughs and the fact that Miki himself would be appearing in person at the screening sealed the deal for me. I’m glad I did watch this because it’s nothing like anything I’ve seen before. It’s still a bit confusing when i think about the plot but it’s a film I would gladly watch again to try and unravel its knots and multiple meanings.
Kazuya Kamenshi, a member of the J-pop group KAT-TUN, plays a slacker named Hitoshi who works at an electronics store and has a fading dream of becoming a photographer. He’s generally pushed around by others but then he steals a cellphone from a businessman named who is rude to him. A call from the mother on the stolen cell appears on screen and Hitoshi decides to impersonate the businessman and talk to the mother. This leads to a surreal development where he seems to unwittingly take over the businessman’s identity and loses his own, being recognized by businessman’s mother in person but no longer being recognized by his own mother. In fact, there is another Hitoshi who is living with his mother whom refers to himself as Daiki. A third Hitoshi referring to himself as Nao also appears and well the rest of the story is hard to explain (not that I would want to since it’s best to experience it first hand). Let’s just say that the number of duplicates doesn’t stop at three but then “deletions” begin to occur.
Kazuya reportedly played 33 different roles, I didn’t notice that in this film, only three get significant screen time and maybe five others make repeated appearances mostly because they look pretty funny. That’s okay, Kazuya does a phenomenal job of creating distinct versions of the same Hitoshi. There are a good amount of laughs in the film and some fun visual gags but it’s when the “deletions” start occurring where things get even more weird and fascinating. How the Hitoshi duplicates started appearing in the first place is never explained but that’s not the point of the movie. What is the point of the film? Certainly something about identity and uniquness. That’s what great about the film, there can easily be different interpretations and I will happily ponder on them.
Click here for the English trailer (I could only embed the trailer below which has no English subs)
The Q&A with Satoshi Miki had some microphone problems but once that was sorted out audience members began asking questions. There were not that many eager audience members asking interesting questions but I think it was because many were just as bewildered by the film as I was and maybe didn’t want to embarrass themselves by asking a possibly dumb question. Unfortunately, I would say not much interesting was revealed about the film itself or the making of it although Miki expressed a desire to paint the entire Olympic Stadium in green for a future film or create an Adrift in Montreal film. The latter of which I would enthusiastically welcome. It was followed by an autograph session where he signed an Adrift in Tokyo DVD for me. I was very pleased with that.