Part of SFFILM Festival
Asako I & II
Amid a fireworks display, love hits Baku and Asako with a bang. Dreamy and distracted, Baku mysteriously disappears six months later, and a devastated Asako moves from Osaka to Tokyo, where she meets her former beau’s exact lookalike who claims his name is Ryohei and has no knowledge of Baku. Taking a cue from Vertigo‘s doppelganger scenario but changing the gender dynamics, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s (Happy Hour, Festival 2016) new film immersively explores his heroine’s shifting emotional tides, with stellar performances by Erika Karata as Asako and Masahiro Higashide as Ryohei and Baku.
“Hamaguchi finds ways of crystallizing the movie’s themes, lingering on contemplative moments that position the entire story as a metaphor for the contrast between the fantasies and realities of relationships, as well as the messy negotiation required to navigate those extremes…. It’s refreshing to see a high-concept movie that doesn’t assume every love story has to reach a tidy conclusion, and implies that some happy endings are best left open-ended.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire