10 September 2017 | ropenico
Goofy surreal comedy
This film has a definite European feel to it (French comedy with a touch of early Almodovar), only it was made in Japan in mid sixties.
The plot is simple and crazy at the same time. The main character Shinji (Tatsuya Nakadai) is singled out for extermination by a mad, Nazi inspired scientist (Eisei Amamoto)who sets up numerous traps and sends countless assassins in all guises Shinji's way. In the process Shinji undergoes a transformation from a shabby, socially awkward university lecturer to a sly, dashing agent 007 type only to return to his nerdy self at the end of the film. Which made me wonder: was it all a dream? I guess that's part of the film's premise.
Tatsuya Nakadai shows his comic side this time and is priceless as the hapless Shinji turned into James Bond and back. The set of Amamoto's lunatic asylum seems to be a jab at Teshigahara's pretentious aesthetics. The film is well paced, inventive and visually stimulating. If you are willing to leave aside logic and simply take the ride,you are in for a rewarding cinematic experience.