Posted by schnolis on April 15th, 2009 filed in Reviews

TOKYO!Tokyo! is not really a movie in the traditional sense. It’s a collection of three short films from three different directors. And all three of the stories are incredible.

The opening short in this film was called “Interior Design” by Michel Gondry. I’m already a huge fan of his for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. His story was about Hiroko and her boyfriend Akira. He’s an aspiring filmmaker trying to promote a film he’s made. They move to Tokyo to screen it in a porn theater even though his film isn’t pornographic. Everything is much more expensive than they were prepared for. They cannot find an apartment, their car is ticketed and eventually towed, and they’ve outstayed their welcome with the one friend who put them up. The end of the movie is about Hiroko and her feelings of self-worth, and I won’t spoil it, but it’s awesome.

The middle segment is called “Merde” by Leos Carax. I haven’t seen anything else by this person, but now I want to. Merde is a madman living in the sewers of Tokyo who comes up to the surface and terrorizes everyone to get flowers to eat and to lick people. He’s elusive and destructive, and after killing some of the people on the surface he is arrested and imprisoned. But nobody is able to talk to him except for French lawyer Maître Voland, who speaks the unreal language of gibberish and gestures.

The final segment “Shaking Tokyo” is about a special type of recluse called a “Hikikomori”. He gets money from his father through the mail and spends all his time reading, crapping, and eating standing up. His house is meticulously organized with all his essentials and reading materials and trash collected over the eleven years he’s been shut-in. One day, though, he becomes so enamored with a young woman in a garter belt who is delivering the pizza he has just ordered that he looks her in the eyes. After she leaves he’s overwhelmed with the desire to see her again but discovers that she has become a hikikomori herself.

All three pieces are wacky, surreal examinations of life in a booming metropolis. They offer great insights and downright bizarre perspectives on what it means to be alive in the modern world. I very highly recommend this film to anyone who likes movies that are just different.

What I liked: The colorful and original storytelling that took place. I am going to be thinking about the imagery and characters for weeks.

What I disliked: Nothing. Really, nothing. Except maybe that the amazing ride had to end.

Rating: 10 of 10

Leave a Comment