Sunday, 3 February 2013

Just watched: The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker

This is a smart piece of non-linear storytelling from the director who brought us Fish Story. And, like that film, it's has a song central to the story: "Blowing in the Wind" by Bob Dylan, which keeps cropping up throughout the film.

We begin fairly near the end of the story, when a student enrols in a university. He meets his new neighbours and then gets involved in a hold up at a book store. But the reason for the robbery is slowly revealed in a series of flashbacks.

It's cleverly structured, and kind of difficult to explain without ruining it. Perhaps it's a little too clever, as everything that happens in the first half of the film is referenced in the second half. The trouble is that you find yourself admiring the storytelling rather than the story.

Eita, as always, puts in a high quality performance, and the rest of the cast, too, don't disappoint. I was surprised to see Matsuda Ryuhei in the film, since the two of them have just worked together on a TV drama. I suppose it's possible that this is coincidence but I like to imagine that they got on so well when making the film, that they just decided to make a TV series too! Isn't that how showbiz works?

It's a good film, funny and likeable, if perhaps a little dry.


  1. Nice review, but I think the movie is not only funny and likeable, it's also quite sad. Maybe the story telling is a bit too complex for its own good. I really like the story though. And I guess Matsuda Ryuhei is an interesting person himself. He has this special kind of charisma. It always gives his characters that extra mysterious feel. You could say he's the James Dean of Japanese cinema. Eita's impersonation is also very interesting. He doesn't have the same kind of charisma, but is also very convincing. I really like the cool him in this.
    I just started watching Mahoro Ekimae Tada Benriken in which they are paired again (halfway through it). Again with a good chemistry. Eita is much more mature in this though. It's the same year as Soredemo Ikite Yuku, which I consider his best work till now. Of course it has a lot to do with good direction, but good directors often look for good actors and vice versa. It's logical I see Eita in so many productions I like, and the same goes for many of my favorite actors like Matsuda Ryuhei and many more. Kanno Miho being the exception perhaps, cause she's about the most interesting actress I know (brilliant in Dolls!), but she's in so many mediocre productions. She'll be co-starring in Nakamura's next movie though, so who knows...

  2. Yeah, Matsuda Ryuhei has quite a unique air about him. Like he's an actor only as long as it interests him. I know that his films/TV series have already been finished by the time I watch them, but I always get the feeling that any second he could say "I can't be bothered with this" and walk off.