Riaru: Kanzen naru kubinagaryû no hi
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Writer: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Sachiko Tanaka
Based on: Rokuro Inui’s novel A Perfect Day for Plesiosaur
Cast: Takeru Satô, Haruka Ayase
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Koichi (Takeru Satô) and Atsumi (Haruka Ayase) have been together pretty much since childhood. Now, after a failed suicide attempt, Atsumi lies in a coma and Koichi takes advantage of a new technology that lets his mind connect with hers to try and figure out what happened – and bring her back into consciousness, if at all possible.
Real looks great but unfortunately that’s pretty much its only real strenght. Other than that it was predictable, made very little sense and has more endings than Lord of the Rings (where the endings at least fit the size of the story). Altogether it was rather disappointing, especially after Kurosawa’s excellent Penance.
As I said the film looked amazing, especially that fucking plesiosaur that turns up towards the end. I don’t think there’s ever been a more beautifully animated dinosaur and I wanted to see more of it. Way more. Generally the aesthetics were pretty cool.
But unfortunately the plot destroys whatever the visuals build up. It was completely obvious [SPOILERS] that it wasn’t actually Atsumi in the coma but Koichi and the connection between Roomi and Morio was pretty much immediately clear – it didn’t even need the anagram for that. [/SPOILERS] And that they go through the same story basically twice doesn’t help either.
Especially since the plot didn’t really make a lick of sense and the movie felt extremely long already anyway. A little more focus, a little less conspiracy and a bit of cutting here and there would have done wonders for that.
I couldn’t help but think about Vanishing Waves that had a similar setup but one that worked a whole lot better because it actually had some content, too. In the end, Real failed because it not only chose style over substance but abandoned substance completely.