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Survive Style 5+ (Gen Sekiguchi, 2004)

5 crazy stories in Japan entangle into a even crazier potpourri of action, comedy and brutal murders.

All story lines develop independently from each other. A crazy artist tries to continually kill his wife, but every time he inters her body in the woods, he finds her resurrected when he returns home. And her intentions are revengeful. A frustrated marketing woman tries to take revenge on her chauvinistic lover, a group of burglars with repressed homosexual feelings and a British killer and his translator roam the streets of Japan.

The underlying theme here is acceptance and through all the weirdness of this movie the general motive of everyone is to be accepted by everybody else. In itself a wonderful idea, although I had the feeling that "I'm a Cyborg, but that's OK" handles the same subject much more efficiently and gratifying.

The ending of two stories is surprising and quite beautiful. I loved the bird man story. It was touching and funny at the same time. The boy, trying to cope with his father's transformation was quite amazing and very convincing.

Other story lines didn't end that gracefully, like Vinne Jones' as the killer. I would have hoped for a better ending for him. And his incessant repetition of his catch phrase "What is your purpose in life?" got a bit monotonous after a while, because I never really understood his motivation to ask that question. So his character (and story) remains flat throughout. Also the marketing woman's story sort of just fizzled out. Would have loved to see more there.

Visually, the interior designs were wonderful, full of crazy colors and strange props. They must have spent a fortune just to set those up. Or the location scout was a genius.


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