Recently just as I was starting to get jaded with the largely nondescript, unsatisfying Japanese films that I have had access to here in Tokyo, comes a mind blowing piece of work that utterly sweeps me off my feet, myself smiling and swearing unwittingly throughout the film’s viewing, marvelling at its sheer brilliance and beauty. Based on a short story of the same name by renowned writer Murakami Haruki, Tony Takitani ( directed by Ichikawa Jun, whose previous film Byoin De Shinu To Iu Koto ironically inflicted me with severe soporificism ) explores the issues of isolation, solitude and loss. This film is in a word, beautiful; the quiet photography, subdued palette of colours that lend to the film’s intended feeling of emptiness, the music, poised piano arrangements mirroring the visual’s quiescent mood, the treatment and art direction, each scene decorated with the aloofness of an Edward Hopper painting, the screenplay, conversations and exchanges like soothing poetry but with non of the rigidity, more like the words of a child, honest, direct, austere. My highest recommendations.
You can get the Japanese 2 disc special edition of the dvd here.