BULLET BALLET (15) JAPAN 1998 TSUKAMOTO, SHINYA
DVD – £14.99 BLU RAY – £19.99
Goda (Shinya Tsukamoto) is a thirty-something documentary filmmaker. While his work may seem intriguing to some his life is absolutely average – long hours at the office, drinks after work, an equally busy girlfriend, Kiriko, that he’s been with for a decade. No surprises. No detours. No shocks. That is until he returns home one night to find police cars and ambulances surrounding the entrance to his apartment building. When he gets upstairs he’s told that Kiriko has committed suicide. If this wasn’t devastating enough Goda also learns that she killed herself with a bullet to the head. With Japan having some of the strictest set of gun control laws on the books not only is Goda left with the yawning, black “why” behind Kiriko’s suicide, but also a whole other set of mysterious “hows”, “wheres” and “whos”. How did Kiriko get a handgun in the first place? From where? And most importantly from who? Goda goes on a quest into the gritty criminal underworld of Tokyo in order to answer these questions, and maybe inhabit the last days of Kiriko’s life.
Once again Tsukamoto steps out from behind the camera and stars as Tsuda, the archetypal Japanese salaryman, a cog in the machine seemingly cut off from his own being by hours and hours of work. He’s married to polite and compliant Hizuru (Kaori Fujii), the dictionary definition of an ideal Japanese wife. Their life is happy, at least on the surface, at least until Tsuda’s friend from the past, Kojima (played by Tsukamoto’s own real life brother, Kôji) shows up on the scene. As a pro boxer Kôji’s business is violence and even before the proverbial sand is kicked in Tsuda’s face we can already sense the wonder and jealousy with which he views his brother’s transformed body; but once Kojima seduces Hizuru, revealing that he just doesn’t excel at physical violence, but mental and emotional brutality as well, does Tsuda get himself to the gym and into training so he can wreak his revenge with his fists.
In Japanese with English subtitles
DVD available to buy at – http://www.worldonlinecinema.com/Home/japanese-films-on-dvd