Himeanôru   2016   Japan Himeanole
Himeanole Image Cover
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Director:Keisuke Yoshida
Studio:Django Film
Writer:Minoru Furuya, Keisuke Yoshida
IMDb Rating:6.6 (5 votes)
Genre:Crime, Thriller
Duration:99 min
Keisuke Yoshida  ...  (Director)
Minoru Furuya, Keisuke Yoshida  ...  (Writer)
Gaku Hamada  ...  Okada
Ryusuke Komakine  ...  
Gô Morita  ...  Okada
Tsuyoshi Muro  ...  Ando
Makoto Ohtake  ...  
Aimi Satsukawa  ...  Yuka
Maho Yamada  ...  
Makoto Ôtake  ...  
Comments: Just wow. This is a small film, an unimportant one, but it's gonna duke it out with The Wailing for 2016's top spot.

To say: ... that's already a spoiler. So, Daniel, ebo, I know you are going to watch this. Stop reading now.

For others: This is one of those Japanese love triangle stories about three people so insecure they can barely talk. Then it's more. The triangle continues, but it mingles in a world that goes to a dark place.

A lot will be written about the what/where this story goes. It's pretty cool, I guess, but I'd like to skip that discussion and just point out how well done it is. I think our friend elanor might like this film even though it starts in a place she may not be interested in and goes to a place I don't think she generally enjoys ... because it's quality manufactured. I think she has a soft spot for quality.

Himeanole is quite Korean in its "Oh no! Don't shoot ... Hey! Great Shot"-ness. There are several scenes where you think "Really? The director is going to do this? Come on! Oh wait ... Hey. Nicely done!" At least I felt that way.

I've seen Keisuke Yoshida's Cafe Isobe (Jun kissa Isobe) [2008] and was very impressed. He mixes deep drama with comedy (from witty to goofy) with aplomb. I believe the secret sauce is his rhythm. He knows how to cut a film. The framing and edits actually add metadata to the scenes. Yoshida is physically in control of the visual rhythm. His storytelling is unconventional.

The casting of the film, and what Yoshida does with the typecasting, is genius. Again, a lot will be written about where boy band idol Gô Morita goes in the film. Kudos to him. Cutesy powderpuff Aimi Satsukawa shares a little side-boob and side-butt, a hand bra (not her hands), and a pretty brutal rape scene with us. Oh my. Her "sex" scene (not graphic) stands out for what the director inter-cuts it with. It's one of those scenes where you initially think "Oh please, don't do this", but as it reaches climax, you will gulp. If you gulp in disdain or disgust I have no counter argument. But me: "Hey! Great shot!"

In a year of big important films I was supposed to like that I didn't like, I needed this. For those who will say this is an important film, an impressive essay on guilt or bullying, I offer a raspberry (although I think our dear friend weepylove might connect to the film on that level--and other levels, too. I think it's the first act she won't enjoy). For me, the film is a directorial tour de force. It's not perfect. Mistakes are made (he introduces a "fat" character and has her indulge in bad eating-acting. When will that go away? (Her scene is still great, though)).

Yoshida's My Little Sweet Pea (Mugiko san to) [2013] is definitely the next film I'm going to watch.

Summary: Susumu Okada (Gaku Hamada) is an ordinary man who works cleaning a building. Susumu’s colleague asks Susumu to be a cupid of love between himself and cafe worker Yuka (Aimi Satsukawa). When Susumu goes to the cafe where Yuka works at, he meets Shoichi Morita (Go Morita). Susumu and Shoichi Morita went to the same high school. Yuka, though, informs Susumu that Shoichi is stalking her.

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