|Aoi kuruma 2004 Japan A Blue Automobile|
A Blue Automobile is a good looking film, very bleak, all stark and concrete, and there are a number of creative and interesting directorial choices made by Okuhara but the overall vision of the film left me wanting. That isn't always a problem but this film plays like it wants to be a film with a vision to talk about, an exploration of a heavy theme: pain, as a game changer. Indie actor cool dude Arata does a fine job as a young man who doesn't think much of living because of an accident as a child that has left him scarred around the eyes. He plays an introverted danger-punk guy, and we all know that fetching, young, good-hearted women are attracted to the type, so that's what plays out.
I was intrigued, fascinated even, by the characters as discreet units but wasn't able to engage or be moved by the exposition of the characters' motivations toward one another. It's basically another story about a guy who gets two women. And this time they are sisters, which adds to the oh-so-intense nature of the angst. That there's a big theme of immense suffering lurking in the background all the time doesn't make it much more than that, except it does make it "alternative".
The film has many bright moments and solid acting. It's not mainstream fare by a long shot, but fans of any of the three leads should enjoy watching them do their stuff. The film wants to be more than it is but it really doesn't matter. I enjoyed the experience of the film. It's one of those where you give more points to journey than goal.
Summary: Based on the short manga by Yoshitomo Yoshimoto.
A ubiquitous pair of sunglasses helps d.j. Richio (Arata) hide behind a super-cool facade while also concealing a disfiguring facial scar. He's haunted by nightmares of a childhood accident whose physical remnant is nothing compared with the psychological wounds he silently stores up, despite an apparently healthy rapport with vibrant g.f. Akemi (Kumiko Aso) and decent employment at a record shop.
Akemi's schoolgirl sister Konomi (Aoi Miyazaki), attracted to the punkish Richio, shows signs of interest, which he picks up on. Notwithstanding the sisters' tight relationship, Konomi and Richio have sex, deeply wounding Akemi when a remorseful Richio confesses to the liaison.