Friday, 24 January 2014

Recommended: The Last Chance: Diary of Comedians

Well, they do say that the secret to comedy is timing, and I’d say watching this film about a failed comedy duo on the same day that I found out that a production company weren’t going to follow up a pilot episode made by myself and a friend was probably the reason I found it impossible to watch this film without tears rolling down my face.

I am a big softie for films about the entertainment industry, such as some of the early Mitani Kouki films, or The Woodsman and the Rain. I find myself totally empathising with the naive, hopeful amateur who thinks they only need one chance to prove themselves.

This film follows the career of a lowly comedy duo, Boso Swimmers, as they struggle through their twelfth year in showbusiness while trying not to get jealous as other, younger comedy teams become more successful. They decide to put everything into one comedy competition: their final roll of the dice.

The two main roles, played by Ito Atsushi and Koide Keisuke, are excellent. Especially Koide Keisuke who is one of my favourite actors, and really impresses as the less talented but more motivated of the two. They are supported by a great cast, including Nagasawa Masami and a wide range of Japanese comedians in various roles. Plus, a quick nod of appreciation to 8thSin for the excellent subtitles.

It’s funny and touching, especially if you’ve ever thought you might have stood a chance in the slightly absurd world of entertainment. It’s all about whether it’s better to prefer a comforting dream over grim reality. A cruel choice that most of us have to face in some way.

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