height="348" width="245" align="Right" border="0"/>You haven’t seen Fish Story?
Neither have I, and unless you live in a corner of the world graced by a
DVD release or were lucky enough to stumble across it at a festival,
you probably haven’t either. However, it hit Fantastic Fest like some
sort of under-the-radar Japanese freight train of amazing last year,
meaning that director Yoshihiro Nakamura’s follow-up film, Golden Slumber, began the fest as one of the most buzzed about films, one of the Absolute Must-Sees.
Now, I can’t compare Golden Slumber to Fish Story, but I can say that Golden Slumber
is an amazing movie, maybe a masterpiece, that manages to achieve
something so unique and original that I’m entirely unable to classify
Is it a wrongfully accused man-on-the-run thriller? Yes.
Is it a conspiracy theory-inspired political statement? Yes.
Is it a gentle drama about times past and friendships we forged that will never be broken? Yes.
Is it a human comedy filled with clever dialogue and witty rapport? Yes.
Is it pitch dark comedy with a plucky serial killer sidekick for our hapless hero? Yes.
you have is the story of an average man framed for the assassination of
the Japanese prime minster and going on the run. You probably wouldn’t
believe me if I told you this sets up a story that is beautiful and
life-affirming. Imagine The Bourne Identity if it was the happiest, most positive movie ever made. The fact that this movie exists is surreal.
is an amazingly complex film that makes hiding the bizarre machinations
of the script look easy. Reeling from genre to genre and from tone to
tone, Nakamura keeps things so fast and so fun that the two and a half
hour running time never feels like a chore. When I realized things were
winding down, I felt the painful sting of disappointment.
I truly hate it when people describe movies as magical. Hate it. From the bottom of my soul.
But god damn it, Golden Slumber
is a magical movie. This is effortless greatness. When the climax rolls
around and you realize that countless emotional beats, character
moments and lines of dialogue are all about to seamlessly pay off after
being carefully embedded in the narrative, it’s a moviegoing moment
bordering on transcendent. Golden Slumber
is the reason we go to the movies in the first place. I actively tried
to think of a bad thing to say about this movie just so this review
wouldn’t look like a paid advertisement, but I failed. This is one of
the best films of any year.
you probably won’t see it in the United States because as the title
implies, The Beatles and their music are vital to this movie. And that’s
how music rights may very well kill this movie dead in its tracks.