中の人の邦画放談② 「羊の木」

*English translation below










AMATA Staff Talk Japanese Film, No. 2 “Hitsuji no Ki”

I am tomocarl from the sound section of AMATA K.K. here again, and just so you know my favorite movie is “The Kirishima Thing”.
I went to see the very first screening of “Hitsuji no Ki”!
I’ve always been a fan of Daihachi Yoshida’s work, so I was looking forward to it! ^o^/

The job entrusted to municipal official Tsukisue was to parole six convicted murderers in the city of Uobuka, a port town where “both the seafood is delicious and the people are friendly”.
It was a project designed to solve two problems—the depopulation of the town, and the rehabilitation of the six people accepted.
Tsukisue’s superiors order him to avoid letting the six associate with each other, but when another city official, Tashiro, invites them all to Uobuka’s strange festival, the plan begins to come apart at the seams.

You’ll get a lot of feelings from looking at the portrayal of these six people, from those of doubt, intimacy, envy, acceptance, and “Man, I think I’m liking what I’m seeing from Yuka-san here!” (laughs)  It really takes you for an emotional ride!

As the story progresses however, the viewer is consumed by a sense of fear.
This is where the  Daihachi-style suspense horror comes in, isn’t it?!

The fantasy acting Daihachi is so well-known for gets a chance to shine here as well, in the form of a folk festival in the film.
Fantasy matters here too, even up into the climax!

This is a reaction I think most fans of  Daihachi will be familiar with, but since the film keeps you on edge throughout the entire run, the ending does feel a bit weak as a result.
Perhaps it’s because the theme of “how will society accept former convicts” is so much at the forefront of the story, but I found myself thinking it might have been better to go a little more colorful with the fantasy-esque parts. (In his last work,“A Beautiful  Star”, the fantasy wasn’t over-the-top gaudy, but it was quite impressive.)

Despite that minor complaint, I can say with certainty that it is just the kind of guaranteed quality you come to expect from a Daihachi production.
Great actors too!
Regarding the Yuka-san I mentioned before, I think you’ll all be very surprised with her. I highly recommend anyone interested go see the film.
And the protagonist, played by Nishikido-san, has managed to tone down his popstar aura 
and really does blend in well as a civil servant!
The, well, let’s say “surreal” performances of the murderers is also something that left a deep impression!

Next time, I think I’d like to write about Tremble All You Want.