23 September 2007 | DICK STEEL
A Nutshell Review: Life Can Be So Wonderful
This film is anything but wonderful. Consisting of five short films by Minorikawa Osamu, it's one of those pretentious flicks that try to pass itself off as art, and there's nothing worse than stringing together a series of short films with nary a common theme and passing it off as a feature film. Sure, there are the usual notions of loneliness, solitude, melancholy and the likes that it would like to pass off as, but sadly, neither is the individual shorts or the sum of the whole remotely good.
The five shorts are also clumsily titled, and they are "Life can be so Wonderful", "Bar Fly", "Her Favourite Solitude" (isn't that a tad too obvious?), "Snusmumrik Liberty" and "Reasons to Live". In most shorts, shots of nature and the natural environment are included ad nausem, trying nothing more than to make up for time. The stories are a bit of a yawn too - the first short tells of the struggles and exasperation of an aging nude model, the second an alcoholic man's passion for the bottle, the third features two lovers in bed talk (and for a rare moment I thought the nudity was unnecessary), and the fourth tells the story of a pregnant woman and her lover (Ryuhei Matsuda who did Nightmare Detective). Only the fifth contained some semblance of coherent story, but it was too little too late.
The stories have nothing fresh to offer. Too many narrations, too many poetic quotations trying their very best to impress. But seriously, it tries too hard to connect with the audience. Or maybe perhaps it was so successful with the exploration of its themes, it managed to alienate itself from a regular audience. And those today can't wait to bolt for the door once the end credits start to roll.
Only recommended if you want something uninspiring or badly shot to test your patience.