February 18, 2012

Filmwell Update: My review of Yoshihiro Nakamura’s “Fish Story”

My most recent review for Filmwell looks at Yoshihiro Nakamura’s decade-spanning genre mash-up, in which a punk rock song saves the world.

The closest companion piece to Fish Story that I can think of is Jang Jun-hwan’s criminally unknown Save The Green Planet!, which also juggles genres and storylines with considerable aplomb. But whereas Save The Green Planet! is ultimately driven by a dark sense of humor and a huge dollop of pathos, Fish Story is warmer and more optimistic in its storytelling, albeit in that gently absurd manner that you find elsewhere in Japanese cinema (e.g., The Happiness of the Katakuris, The Taste of Tea, Kamikaze Girls). The film is ultimately an examination of how even seemingly random events are subtly connected in ways that nobody can truly foresee, and how even the most insignificant or arbitrary decision or action can have far-reaching consequences.

Fish Story is currently streaming on Netflix.