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A salaryman wakes up in a posh hotel room, totally clueless about how he got there. Slowly, he recalls what happened a day before - attending a funeral, dating but annoying his girlfriend, getting drunk in a pub and getting to know a yakuza and his beautiful mistress, having a gun in his hand and...Written by
L.H. Wong <email@example.com>
Fifteen minutes was all this film needed to convince me of its brilliance.
Without these "enlightening" fifteen minutes (at the very end) this movie may seem quite hopeless, though. It may seem too simple, too odd, too surreal... phony even. But make no mistake: MONDAY is plotted out much more clever than it appears.
It is about a guy waking up in a hotel room with bit of a cloudy memory. Things start to come back to him as he bumps into all kinds of leads he find in his pockets. I imagine that the main thought behind it was, what the human mind capable is of doing with the means it has, and how it could be shown in a film. I can say that the creators have come a long way in showing the answer to this.
As said, it will takes time to see there is more to it than it seems. Fortunate enough, the retrospective march of events that made the guy end up where is now, makes it perfectly clear that the unrolling celluloid is to be sure of revealing a well-thought-out plot. Second, the whole story raises enough questions about the sanity of the characters as well as the people who wrote the story, that one will sit it out no matter what, if only excited with hope for a plausible explaination for it all.
It is unlikely that MONDAY (by Hiroyuki Tanaka) will be a boring experience to anyone. To many, especially those unfamiliar with Japanese cinema, it will be something different than usual, perhaps less exciting, a bit clownish, here and there the surrealistic texture will be a bit hard to swallow, but it surely will keep one curious. And that is the only thing this film needs.
This is a movie, and, I think, Japanese directors, Tanaka in particular, have well understood what this means. It isn't real life and it doesn't have to appear this way. Even though some characters and their actions seem to be right from out of a comic book, this movie is as real as (a movie) can be.
I heard someone comparing aspects in this film with Tarantino. I'm not entirely sure about that. Frankly, I believe the approach Tarantino uses in his work isn't that unique to begin with. I think it was to be expected that directors would make films the way he does some day. As for Japanese movies like that of Tanaka, I think it has little to do with Tarantino. I actually think we should speak of it as the 'Japanese approach' than the 'Tarantino approach', anyway. Was "Reservoir Dogs" not a remake of an underrated Japanese gangster film??? I think is was.
Well. Tanaka is nowhere near Kurosawa yet. But surely no less than Miike, Kitano or Nakano. I therefore rate it 7.5!
Watch it and be patient, enjoy it and be astound ;)
17 of 23 people found this review helpful.
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