This column is continually on the lookout for new Japanese directors who can infuse fresh energy into cinema here. There is always the hope J-film will explode with new talent, like it did in the late ’80s and early ’90s when Hirokazu Koreeda, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shinji Aoyama, and Junji Sakamoto, among others, burst onto the scene. Yoshihiro Nakamura aside, we’re still waiting for that wave of young directors in the 2000s.
Jumpei Matsumoto, a 26-year-old Tokyo University graduate, is attempting to fill the void but his vision is too melodramatic and unrealistic.
Matsumoto’s first film sets up a love triangle after the murder of a man named Koji. Koji borrowed a huge sum of money from high-powered businessman Takuya (Masato Tsujioka), who had acquired it through dubious means. Takuya goes to see Koji’s widow Luka (Honoka) and they soon jump into bed. Meanwhile, actor Ryo (Manabu Ueyama) arrives in town and it appears he has an interest in Luka, and Takuya. Any hint of real-world concerns disappears as the three pursue Koji’s killer and lash out emotionally towards each other.
Let’s hope Matsumoto has better work inside of him. (132 min)