August 11, 2013

Key Of Life (2012)

Key Of Life (2012)
Directed by: Kenji Ushida
Country: Japan

Review: “Key Of Life” blends humor, crime, and romance in the right proportions, guaranteeing pure entertainment for more than two hours. The story follows three characters who met one another in peculiar circumstances, leading to several misunderstandings and imbroglios. Sakurai (Masato Sakai) is a 35-year-old failed actor who lives in debt and is planning to kill himself. When in a bathhouse, he witnessed an accident involving Kondo (Teruyuki Kagawa), a professional assassin who lost his conscience after hit with his head. Sakurai takes advantage of the situation to swap their locker keys and assume the victim’s identity. In turn, Kondo gets temporarily amnesiac and will have to adapt himself to Sakurai’s life of poverty, a fact that will not prevent him to get to know a beautiful magazine editor who is desperately looking for a good man to marry. The humor was not hilarious, or nothing like that, but its jokes were subtly clever without being strained. The actors seemed to enjoy playing their parts and I felt an eagerness to know what would happen to them next. All the twists and turns concerning this acting/gangstering combination were well thought, leading to prizes for best screenplay attributed by the Japanese Academy and Shanghai Film Fest. Kenji Ushida's third feature film may bring him back the deserved international attention that he once had in 2005 with “A Stranger Of Mine”.

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