This was one of the movies that I really was looking forward to seeing from the first time I heard about it. I waited around for months to see it because I was looking for the subtitles. XD
The movie started off with a brief character introduction so I'll start my summary that way too:
Kanae is a very meticulous and serious career woman. She works at a magazine company She hasn't experienced failure before and everything she does is according to her plan, including getting married in two months to a man that she hasn't met yet (she has allotted one month to find him and one month to get to know him).
Kondo is a very professional handy man popular in the crime world. He does a very clean job in disposing his client's targets. If he does the job, the body will never be found. He does not directly deal with his clients so nobody knows what he looks like.
Sakurai is a theatre actor who hasn't had good luck in landing a stable job in the world of acting. He lives in a run down apartment complex and has bills left unpaid and very little money to spare. He has contemplated on ending his life via hanging but even in that area, he isn't lucky.
The actual story takes off from here: Sakurai having failed his suicide attempt, decides to go to a bath house after seeing a coupon in his wallet. Kondo gets stuck in a traffic jam and decides to take a bath to clean up after his job. The two meet at the bathhouse as Sakurai eyes the contents of Kondo's very thick wallet while they were placing their belongings in the locker. Sakurai heads off to the bath room first and tries to steal an old man's soap but he failed, yet again. The soap slips off the floor ending up at the entrance wherein Kondo stepped on it,
Kondo wakes up at the hospital with an amnesia while Sakurai started paying all of his debts with Kondo's money. Sakurai paid a visit to Kondo at the hospital to return his belongings and switch back their identities however, he gets caught by an awake Kondo and leaves as is. As Kondo gets discharged from the hospital, he asks directions from Kanae, who was then visiting her sick father in the same hospital. Kanae gives Kondo a ride back to Sakurai's apartment and tries to help him recover his memory. Sakurai video tapes a message to Kondo saying that he will kill himself to atone for what he has done but gets in to trouble with Yakuza boss, Kudo, when he answered a phone call.
You can view the trailer here.
I really enjoyed watching this film a lot. The story telling was very easy to follow and the characters aren't exactly complicated however, the script was clever and the characters and the scenes that they were involved in were very entertaining to watch. I really like how the characters were written in a multi-layered way: they really are not who they are as we first met them.
The pacing was very good. I didn't think that there was a dull moment while watching. I thought that the lighting was a little too dark for the movie but I got used to it. The classical background music used was very fitting -- even for the character's ringtones, which I thought was a very nice touch because it really suited their personalities. The acting was great and the chemistry between all three actors was really good. They were all very good actors to begin with, anyway.
I really think that the director really did an awesome job in putting this wonderful piece together. This was my first Uchida Kenji movie and I really liked what he showed me. I really feel that this is worth watching. I'll definitely watch it again. :)