Saturday, 11 February 2012

Just watched: Suteki na Kakushidori

This film for TV was made as a side-project to Mitani Kuoki's cinema release Suteki na Kanashibari, and it shares a lot of the same cast. In the TV film, Fukatsu Eri plays a concierge at a hotel who finds herself trying to fulfil the wishes of a series of eccentric guests.

It's a simple and light-hearted comedy. The structure is episodic: when one guest's story ends, the next one begins. None of the guests interact, so there's none of the complicated storytelling that Mitani Kouki devised in The Uchoten Hotel. Eri is funny as the concierge trying to help as best she can. Throughout the film she finds herself in situations like trying to help a TV chef who's never cooked, or helping a songwriter overcome his writer's block.

A particular highlight for me was Kusanagi Tsuyoshi as a clueless contortionist who needs advice about his act. But mostly, it Eri's peppy performance that keeps you watching. It also has quite a spontaneous feel, and I wonder how much of this was improvised. This is an amusing and entertaining diversion, and is definitely worth a look.

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