craigjclark (craigjclark) wrote,

I'm sure you two will get along fine.

There's a cruddy, low-res quality to some of the shots in Kiyoshi Kurosawa's 2002 film Bright Future, which makes sense since it was shot digitally with a Sony HDCAM. A lot of the camerawork is handheld as well, which reflects the restlessness of Kurosawa's protagonist, Nimura (Joe Odagiri), a factory worker who spends his off hours at an arcade and his on hours palling around with fellow drone Arita (Tadanobu Asano), who's prone to cryptic comments like "Could be a storm's coming." What that might mean is lost on Nimura, but he's able to suss out that his buddy has a unique perspective on life -- and an unusual pet in a poisonous Red Jellyfish, which he almost lets their intrusive boss Mr. Fujiwara (Takashi Sasano) touch when he shows up at Arita's apartment uninvited one day. It's not long after that Arita returns the favor by murdering Mr. Fujiwara and his wife in their home, but first he entrusts his pet jellyfish to Nimura, making him promise to follow the instructions for its care and feeding to the letter.

One side effect of Arita's crime and swift punishment is that it brings his father (Tatsuya Fuji), who's been absent from his life for five years, back into contact with him, just not physically because now Arita is the one who looks like he's in a fish tank. Adrift as he is, Nimura also wills himself into Mr. Arita's orbit, eventually going to work for the old man, who collects and repairs electrical appliances. Meanwhile, the younger Arita's work has been completed by Nimura, who manages to acclimate his jellyfish to fresh water and unwittingly introduces it into Tokyo's canals. Following a rift with the elder Arita, Nimura's sister gets him a job in the office where she works, but instead of settling in, he orchestrates a Project Mayhem-like robbery of the place. All this adds up to an uncertain future for all concerned -- and even those who aren't.
Tags: kiyoshi kurosawa
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