Another big disappointment I went into with high hopes. Seems like immature work by Non-ko and Green Mind director Kazuyoshi Kumakiri. I'm not as impressed by Rinko Kikuchi as many, don't think she has the depth to make an uninteresting character engaging. The film seems like it wants to be boring.
Following up on his acclaimed debut feature, Kichiku Dai Enkai -- an intense portrait of a band of 1970s radicals who descend into morass of fratricidal blood lust -- Kazuyoshi Kumakiri shifts gears completely by offering this understated romantic drama. Ichio (Takeshi Kitano regular Susumu Terajima) runs a rundown eatery on a Hokkaido highway. One day, a couple gets into a spat resulting in the guy -- an overly tanned self-satisfied clod -- hopping in his red sports car and driving off without her. The woman, Taeko (Rinko Kikuchi), returns to order a meal. When she tries to dash without paying, Ichio nabs her but lets her off with a warning. Ichio soon finds himself similarly stranded when his horseracing-mad father -- and owner of the restaurant -- swipes Ichio's car for a crazed gambling road trip with his buddies. Later that night while camping out, Taeko inadvertently burns down one of the restaurant's sheds. This time around, Ichio puts Taeko to work. Soon, in spite of themselves, a relationship is born.