I’ve decided that every weekend or so often I would talk about or write reviews of some of the Asian films that I’ve watched here in my blog. My Asian cinema addiction has led me to discover some great underrated films that were quite subversive in mainstream cinema, thus, were often too cool to be shown in some of our local theaters.
Director : Isao Yukisada
Casts: Tatsuya Fujiwara, Karina, Shihori Kanjiya, Keisuke Koide, Kinto Hayashi
“A horror movie disguised as a teenage slacker flick”
– Isao Yukisada
For this first edition of Weekend Moviebuster, I’ll be talking about Parade (2010) — a Japanese movie based on a 2002 novel by Shuichi Yoshida. Directed by Isao Yukisada, it is a story of a strange living situation of a group of people illegally sharing a cramped 2LDK ( apartment meant for newlyweds that has two bedrooms, a living-dining room, and a kitchen) in suburban Tokyo. The owner of the apartment is Naoki (Tatsuya Fujiwara) a jogging enthusiast who works at a film distribution company. He shares the flat with unemployed and dependent Kotomi (Shihori Kanjiya) who waits everyday for his part-time celebrity lover’s call while obsessively watching his daytime soap opera, Ryosuke (Keisuke Koide), a slacker who has a doomed relationship with his best friend’s girlfriend and Mirai (Karina), a heavy-drinking illustrator who spends her nights hanging out in gay bars. These four housemates share an amicable friendship though their only common tie is the 2LDK apartment that they occupy. They all live in their own parallel universe but they still have subtle hints of care for one another though they won’t go beyond the line. They have diverse personalities and none of them “really” know each other. Then one night, a blonde-haired visitor named Satoru (Kento Hayashi) came along and things started to get very interesting.
Events started to wake the four housemates from their hibernation. First, was their suspicion that their neighbor is running a whorehouse in the apartment next door, a serial killer in the neighborhood randomly beating up women to death and the sudden appearance of Satoru which hilariously took them awhile to figure out that he was indeed a stranger, and not really connected to any of them. Nevertheless, he was allowed to stay, with their suspicions on who he is and what he does when he is out. These events started to alter their routines and pre-planned lifestyles. Taking notice of the change made an impact on the lives of the people in the 2LDK apartment.
The initial part of the film was light and fluffy but as the story uniquely progresses and how the mysteries will come to light, you will find the dark corners that will reveal themes like identity, perception of others and violence. This movie will show us the different faces of today’s apathetic youths that are struggling to be normal in this modern superficial world.
I showed this film yesterday to a couple of friends who spent the weekend at my place. They were enjoying its slacker comedy in the beginning but then it gradually changed their mood in the last part where mysteries were starting to get revealed. Good thing my other friend who has a faint heart for sinister films didn’t get much agitated when the murderer was revealed. But all in all, they enjoyed this wonderful film. This film has left a deep impression on me. Somehow, I could see a part of myself in each of the character’s personality. It is one of those films that I can enjoy watching the second or third time around. It is a very great enigmatic film that all film lovers would love and appreciate.