Thursday, February 16, 2012
Watching Japanese movies is an acquired taste, I suppose. Perhaps my willingness to do so and find pleasure in them goes back to my earliest television viewing, of Japanese-language shows when I was in kindergarten while my family was stationed in Hawaii. Nevertheless, I do often enjoy them. The toughest part for Americans I think is that the actors often seem artificial and robotic, the dialogue silly, even sometimes the scenes strangely amateurish. Despite some instances of this, FISH STORY (2009) is an enjoyable film about butterfly effect. It is hard to tell what happens without giving away too much, but if you manage to get through the early portions of the movie in which separate experiences are presented, everything will be tied together nicely. Basically, it is about how a pioneering Japanese punk band without a following produces an unusual song (a year before Sex Pistols came along), written partly through the chain of events explained in the end, that will have an impact in possibly saving the world from an impending crash of a comet. At times the movie has a low-budget feel, but some scenes are well done. I think some of the movie was intended to be a tonguein-cheek satire on doomsday preaching, but really it is about the price some artists pay for forward or unconventional thinking, about how small events can have repercussions. There are some storylines that are not fleshed out, and I think the actresses got short-shift for the most part, but overall I liked the movie.