Love & Peace
Director: Shion Sono
Writer: Shion Sono
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Kumiko Asô, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Shôko Nakagawa
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]
Ryo Suzuki (Hiroki Hasegawa) has big dreams, but no self-esteem whatsoever. He is being bullied at work and he now sees people laughing at him everywhere. This all changes when he gets a pet turtle, Pikadon, with which he is happy for a while. Until his co-workers discover the pet and ridicule Ryo so much, he flushes it down the toilet. He instantly regrets it, but the decision catapults both Ryo and Pikadon on a long journey.
Love & Peace is the perfect Christmas movie that has just enough weirdness to keep it from being sickly sweet. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s still sickly sweet and I loved it.
I expected many things – with Shion Sono it’s not easy to predict what you’re going to get – but I didn’t expect that Love & Peace would turn into one of the best Santa Claus background stories I’ve ever seen. It was equally sad and adorable and beautiful. Roughly said in Love & Peace Santa Claus lives as a more or less homeless man in the sewer system, collecting thrown away toys and things that used to be loved, but aren’t anymore. They come to live as long as they are with him. For Christmas they all get a make-over and lose their ability to speak, but get a new start. That’s the kind of Santa Claus that I can get behind.
With that beautiful story, all the awesome toys and the cuteness that was Pikadon (although its bleating was a bit overused in the film) there is already more to love about this film than many other films have. But it doesn’t stop there.
Because at the end, Love & Peace turns into a kaiju movie. An extremely family-friendly kaiju movie with a whole lot of humor and in general continuing the cuteness, but a kaiju movie nonetheless. It’s awesome.
With so many strengths to commend it, it can be easily forgiven that I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the main plot surrounding Ryu and his quest for stardom. In fact, I didn’t really care much about Ryu at all. But Love & Peace made me smile so much, I didn’t have any problem with that.