Fantasia Film Review: The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue

Long statements used as movie titles tend to fascinate me.

TOKYONIGHTSKY_2

Here’s a little ditty about Mika (Shizuka Ishibashi) and Shinji (Sosuke Ikematsu), two Japanese youngsters in lives without direction. Neither of them really identifies with anybody else, they’re just weird in a way. They work in low wage jobs, they notice things that nobody else notices, they wander aimlessly and talk nonsensically.

Whimsy and melancholy rarely a good movie make, so this film is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s slow and sad and tinged with blue and shaded colors. Rarely do we see the sun shining in Mika’s and Shinji’s routine. They go by their impulses. They may seem cruel and careless to each other sometimes, but there’s never a hint of meanness in their demeanor. Shinji tends to talk non-stop about whatever comes into his head and then he has long periods of silence. Mika must work as a nurse and as bartender in a “girlie bar” (it’s not a strip club) where men get to talk to girls.

Director Yuya Ishii brings us a story of non-romantic non-comedy where the sad and the lonely wander about bringing occasional hints of humour and pale shades of romance. Nothing is pushed onto your face. Humour is in everyday life and situational comedy is mostly subtle. There’s a couple of laughable situations and awkward smiles when the audience recognizes themselves on screen.

Recommended for all the lonely people in the world, and all the people in the world that have at one point embraced loneliness. It’s not an emo type of movie, but a true lonely hearts’ club film. Whatever the opposite of passion is, it permeates the film and grabs at the heart. I’ve seldom seen a movie where melancholy can bring a smile. It’s really very contemplative, so don’t expect any hollywood romantic grand gestures.

That will do for now.

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