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Friday, April 15, 2016

Bright Future

Written and directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Bright Future is a 2003 Japanese psychological drama starring Tadanobu Asano, Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji.
Mamoru (Asano) and Yuji (Odagiri) are two friends who both work dead-end jobs in a Tokyo factory. Both men hate their boss (Takashi Sasano) and Mamoru is obsessed with acclimatizing a poisonous jellyfish he keeps at home to fresh water. One night, Yuji makes his way to their boss' house with the intention of doing him harm, only to find out that Mamoru has beat him to the punch and killed him and his entire family. Mamoru is arrested and sentenced to death, only to commit suicide on death row and leaving his precious jellyfish to Yuji. As Yuji continues to to take care of the creature, he befriends Mamoru's estranged father Shinichiro (Fuji), who he helps with his electronics salvage business. The two men help each other with their mutual loss but Yuji will still have to come to terms with the bleak life that lies ahead of him.
Making a departure from his usual more disturbing movies, director Kiyoshi Kurosawa delivered a surreal film about modern alienation in Japan with Bright Future. Shot on digital video, the cinematography has a cold yet beautiful look and the film has a subdued creepy undertone throughout. Like its characters the narrative appears aimless, the pace often odd and the movie seems hellbent to be hard to grasp. Narrative clearly isn't at the forefront here as this is more of a mood piece and might therefore not necessarily appeal to everyone. If that, however, doesn't put you off and you want to see something distinctive and oddly entrancing, Bright Future is a trip well worth taking. The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes and won four Japanese Professional Movie Awards for Best Movie, Director and Best Actor awards for both Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji.

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