Posted in *Recommended, Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Key of Life review – Fantasia 2013 [Recommended]

key-of-lifeKey of Life / 鍵泥棒のメソッド / Kagi Dorobo no Mesoddo (2012)
Director: Kenji Uchida ; Screenplay: Kenji Uchida
Cast: Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryoko Hirosue, YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoko Moriguchi

This is a great film, it’s not the funniest comedy I’ve seen but it provides good laughs that are really elevated by sympathetic characters and a clever story. The story begins with an out of work actor, Sakurai, who witnesses another man, Kondo, have an accident in the bath house. He switches locker keys with the other man who loses his memory due to the accident. The actor assumes Kondo’s identity while Kondo is told by police due to the key that he is Sakurai. Sakurai soon discovers that the other man is a hitman and foolishly meets the hitman’s last client, a dangerous criminal who wishes for him to do another hit which he cannot refuse. By chance, Kondo meets Kanae, a magazine editor looking for the right man to marry soon so that her sick father can attend her wedding before he dies. A friendship develops between them but when Kondo gets his memory back and Sakurai gets in way over his head with the final hit, things gets complicated quickly.

Although anybody can enjoy and laugh while watching this film, the 30+ audience may appreciate it much more since the three main characters are in their mid 30s, single and lonely. The actors do an excellent job of portraying their characters feelings and delivering their dialogue. The story is full of surprises and it’s definitely best not to read any spoilers before watching the film. It has many poignant character moments and the eventual resolution to the last hit is smart and entertaining. All three characters are involved in solving the problem in completely logical ways. Perhaps if I saw the film a second time, I might see some plot holes but upon a first viewing the revelations made sense and I was very impressed.

This movie definitely gets a super hight recommendation, this is the type of smart comedy that is a joy to watch because it’s so rare. I’d easily claim it’s brilliant, thought-provoking but also fun. if you have the opportunity, definitely go see it. Both Fantasia screenings were sold out super quickly and it’ easy to understand the reasons. Also be sure to stay for the beginning portion of the credits for an extra scene. Trailer after the jump.



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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