The World of Kanako
Directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Starring Kōji Yakusho, Nana Komatsu, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Ai Hashimoto and Joe Odagiri
Showa Fujishima is a former detective. One day, his daughter Kanako, who is a model student, disappears. To find his daughter, he investigates more carefully into his daughter's life. He quickly realizes that his daughter is no saint, but there is nowhere he won't go to find her.
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★★★★ review by Laurie on Letterboxd
- Just when I thought it was was safe to go back into the classroom again Confessions director Tetsuya Nakashima returns with an even more soul destroying dose of cinematic brutality. The World of Kanako continues on the same nihilistic downward spiral into darkness as Confessions...just louder and faster. It really is time to think about home schooling...
- Kôji Yakusho plays scumbag, alcoholic ex-cop Akikazu who is tasked with searching for his missing daughter Kanako. What follows is an investigation of sorts. But only if your idea of an investigation resembles a drunken bender involving murder, rape, car crashes and numerous beatings...both delivered and received. While Akikazu embarks on his wayward odyssey into depravity, Kanako's school yard exploits are delved into via the recollections of her fellow students.
- From the outset Akikazu's crumpled, off-white, gumshoe suit really serves as the perfect blank canvas, just waiting to be messily decorated with the colourful detritus that erupts as a result of his sickening misdeeds. Needless to say, the state of his suit perfectly mirrors the state of his mind as Akikazu journeys deeper into the underworld searching for his daughter. To say it becomes soiled would be something of an understatement...
- The World of Kanako is a relentless pop-vomit nightmare of inherently destructive parents trying to understand the sinister emptiness of their damaged offspring. Yep, the perfect Father's Day movie...
★★★★ review by LeSchroeck on Letterboxd
Was für ein fieser Film... Nach rund 60/70 Minuten - in denen ein verwahrloster wie verwirrter Oldboy seine Tochter sucht - hab ich mich ernsthaft fragen müssen: wie kaputt kann's noch werden? In den noch folgenden 40 Minuten sollte ich die Antwort kriegen: eine ganze Menge. Denn die Welt von Kanako kennt keine Gnade mit den Unschuldigen. Sie werden von ihr aufgesaugt, bespaßt, berauscht, ruiniert, zerstört und zersetzt. Das Ergebnis ist ein Runterzieher, in dem die nächste Generation von Takashi Miikes "Fudoh", fehlgeleitete Cops, einer der schlimmsten Filmpapas aller Zeiten und die noch schlimmere Halbschwester von Gogo Yubari aufeinander klatschen und jeden mit in den Abgrund ziehen, der das Pech hatte, ihre Wege zu kreuzen. Doch so wild die Figurenkonstellation, so wild ist auch die Erzählweise dieses Films. Und Letzteres kann schon an die Nerven gehen. Viele verwackelte Closeups, eine generell gerne mal nervöse Kamera, kurze, fragmentarische, Splitter-artige Zeitsprünge und diverse grell-stressige Dub/Drumstep-Montagen mit kleinen Animations-Einschüben, in denen sich japanische Kids mit Drogen voll ballern: das alles macht ein einfaches Anschauen schwer. Aber das war wohl auch die Absicht der Inszenierung. Trotzdem bleiben in dem abgründigen Rausch, der sich parallel dazu durch die Plattenkisten von Tarantino und Rodriguez arbeitet, einige Infos auf der Stecke, die die Sache für mich noch runder gemacht hätten. Egal, ich musste auf dem Gesehenen erstmal 'ne Nacht rumdenken. Und das kann nur für dieses Teenage Wasteland sprechen. Ich wiederhole mich: ein fieser (und anstrengender) Film.
★★★★ review by Wesley R. Ball on Letterboxd
Imagine if Gillian Flynn wrote Gone Girl in Japan. While dropping PCP.
Imagine if Sion Sono directed the film adaptation.
The World of Kanako is guaranteed to reach these heights of insanity, and even has an enticing plot to boot. It delves into the mysteriously maniacal underbelly of Japan, and the style draws from an insane variety of films- from Oldboy and I Saw the Devil to the wacky styles of Quentin Tarantino and yes, Sion Sono. It's a formula that might seem unoriginal at first, but really works perfectly well with the story and its pace. A few times, a much-needed injection of adrenaline is put into the story, picking up the more expositional parts and running away at full speed.
Sometimes, Kanako is horrifyingly brutal as well. It clearly covers a wide range of film styles, but rather than trying to cram them all into 119 minutes, the director dishes out a nice, evenly paced story that matches the promised insanity to ensue.
Brutal at times, intoxicatingly insane at others, The World of Kanako is an investigative procedural unlike anything I've seen. Asian cinema knows better than anyone else how to take a seemingly boring and pointless plot and turning it into an insane mashup of action, comedy, and drama. It's a charming style that has stuck with the majority of mainstream Asian cinema for many years, and a formula I expect to continue on for many years to come. The even dispersement of various appropriate film styles, along with fascinating homage tributes, makes this a surprise and a well-produced fare. A riveting suspense-fest that will shock you probably almost as much as confuse you.
★★★★★ review by scotty mondegreened on Letterboxd
a heartwarming christmas movie about a man who just wants to reconnect with his wayward daughter and maybe take his nice white suit to be drycleaned.
★★★★½ review by Gabe☆Danvers on Letterboxd
Tetsuya Nakashima's insane and psychedellic acid trip into the hyper-twisted mindset of a generation of drugs, prostitution, stickers and club parties. A nihilistic study of a father and daughter's abusive and abrasive relationships and how it turned them into each other's own personal demons. Disturbing, darkly funny, unforgettable and unmatchable.
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