Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2019, Shanghai International Film Festival 2019, NY Japan Cuts 2019
Ayaka Miyoshi, Yuu Yashiro, Chay, Takahiro Miura, Tsuyoshi Muro
Warner Bros. Japan LLC
As a child, Shizuka always dreamt of singing and dancing. That is, until a bit of stage fright during a school talent show resulted in a humiliating digestive incident that traumatized her for life. Now working for a big financial company, the discreet and ambitious young woman is completely dedicated to her career and passionately abhors musicals. Around the time when a golden opportunity arises at work, she and her niece, who aspires to star in her school’s upcoming musical, visit fraudulent hypnotist Martyn-san. In a rare example of success, the charlatan’s spell ends up working, but on the wrong person. From the next day forward, every time Shizuka hears the slightest melody, whether it be a ringing phone or a radio jingle, she slips into a musical trance that sees her spontaneously breaking into performances worthy of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, a rather embarrassing condition leading to destructive results. In order to save her job, life savings and reputation, Shizuka sets off on a wild road trip in the hopes of finding Martyn-san and freeing herself of this disruptive curse.
After charming Fantasia with the remarkable ROBO-G, writer-director Shinobu Yaguchi (SWING GIRLS) returns with another brilliantly innovative concept: a totally realistic approach to the musical. The mesmerizing choreographies unfolding to the strains of jazz, pop and hip hop are presented as Shizuka perceives them, while the surrounding people only see a deranged woman hopping on tables and making a mess of everything. Although Yaguchi does project a somewhat mocking tone towards the genre, the classical direction of its musical numbers remains no less impressive. This is indeed a genuine musical in the vein of LA LA LAND, in which romanticism gives way to self-mockery. Actress, model and singer Ayaka Miyoshi (INUYASHIKI) shines in the lead role as she uses her multiple talents to carry the weight of this dynamic, funny and original picture that will leave you humming its uncontrollably catchy tunes on your way out of the theatre. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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