February 04, 2014

Real (2013)

Real (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Country: Japan

Movie Review: Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa has been making a solid career with interesting incursions on thriller/horror (“The Cure”, “Pulse”) and also drama (“Charisma”, “Tokyo Sonata”). In his new film, “Real”, he tries to combine both genres and still add some romance and fantasy, but the final outcome wasn’t what its premise made us to expect. The film tells the story of two lovers, Koichi (Takeru Sato) and Atsumi (Haruka Ayase), a famous distressed manga drawer who tried to commit suicide, remaining in profound coma for more than a year. Koichi will consent to be connected with Atsumi’s brain, through a modern machine, in order to understand what were her motives and try to facilitate her return to the real world. His findings and clues will project them to their past at Hikone island, their hometown, where some truths are revealed. There are some good aspects to be appreciated in this Kurosawa’s cinematic adaptation of Rokuro Inui’s novel, “A perfect day to plesiosaur”, especially in the visual field, but the narrative is inconsistent in tone and its revelations didn’t create significant impact. Among ghostly apparitions, which were not so spooky by the way, and ridiculous philosophical zombies who clearly aim Manga’s enthusiasts, “Real” relies on acceptable dreamlike tones to create psychological tension, but presents a romance devoid of chemistry and some sci-fi moments that were more laughable than atmospheric. Strong production values in an exhausting story that only satisfies partially.

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