Quebec premiere

The Fable

Directed by Kan Eguchi


Official selection

Shanghai International Film Festival 2019, New York Asian Film Festival 2019, Neuchatel International Film Festival 2019


Kan Eguchi


Yusuke Watanabe


Junichi Okada, Fumino Kimura, Mizuki Yamamoto, Koichi Sato, Yuya Yagira

Japan 2019 123 mins OV Japanese Subtitles : English
Genre Action

A celebratory gathering of Tokyo gangsters comes to an abrupt and bloody end with the arrival of a very skilled and thorough assassin. The Fable, he’s called, and he’s a legend in Japan’s criminal milieu, a killer trained from childhood, cool-headed and cold-blooded. At least, until his favourite comedian’s idiotic gags are on TV. His boss isn’t joking, though, when he tells the Fable that the heat is on and he has to lay low for a year. Relax, take it easy, and refrain from killing — on pain of death. Given the name Akira Sato, the low-key but eccentric hitman and his hard-drinking assistant/“sister” Yoko are relocated to Osaka with instructions to fit right in. Sato gives it his best shot, taking a menial job and even meeting a girl he fancies. But treachery is always simmering among the yakuza, and the Fable is just one of a number of murderously-inclined misfits out there…

Equal parts slam-bang action thriller, lurid yakuza melodrama, and off-kilter dark comedy, THE FABLE is, like it titular antihero, a bit confounding — and totally cool with it. Based on Katsuhisa Minami’s award-winning, manga series in Weekly Young Magazine, Kan Eguchi’s live-action adaptation gives centre stage to Junichi Okada (LIBRARY WARS, this year’s IT COMES), whose knack for deadpan packed with wit and pathos comes in handy while he’s charting a death-dealing sociopath’s uncertain stumble toward normalcy. It’s his hand-to-hand combat prowess, though, that come into play when the situation in Osaka’s underworld reaches a boil. When the acrobatic gun-fu à la JOHN WICK kicks in, this FABLE becomes a bedtime story for the hapless henchmen in his path! – Rupert Bottenberg