Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
As a part of the midweek review, I decided to head for a festival release. So if you see the trend, we at popcorn reviewss are covering all bases to ensure you get a huge plate of films and series to choose from. So I watched the Japanese film Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy which had earlier premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival where the film won the prestigious Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize. And just to add, the film is an anthology with the central theme of love in each of the three stories. So then is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Wheel of Fortune And Fantasy follows three stories featuring an unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction trap and a chance encounter resulting from a misunderstanding, with each story tapping of the concepts of life choices and regrets. How often do we question ourselves on “What If” after we stand a chance to lose that one thing that is most dear to us. And so all of the 3 stories have a soul that you would easily relate to. The screenplay in each of the three films is conversational. The screenplay progresses based on the conversations that are shared by the characters with each other. This sole factor makes it a niche which may not cater to everyone’s palette. But if you enjoy films with simple conversations that address the complexities of the dynamics between the individuals then you really will love the screenplay here. Some concepts of regret and the question of ‘What if’ are beautifully portrayed in the first story. The second one explores loneliness and the sexual needs of the individual who may have faced a lot of rejection, again aesthetically portrayed. And the last one deals with chance encounters that might be life altering in many ways. As they say, at times a stranger can be the one who can help you heal. The screenplay is gentle, subtle and extremely layered and complex, extremely well written.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational that demand your attention thereby making you a fly on the wall. Beautifully penned, each of them with a lot of soul minus the melodrama. The BGM beautifully compliments the mood of the drama. The soft piano notes make their way straight into your heart and then to your soul. Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi has done a brilliant job in tackling a complex and sensitive topic in each of the three stories. The direction is top notch and deserves distinction marks.
The performances are excellent here. Kotone Furukawa as Meiko is fantastic here. Ayuma Nakajima as Kazuaki showcases the pain of the character beautifully. Hyunri as Tsugami is absolutely heartfelt. Kiyohiko Shibukawa as Segawa epitomizes the loneliness in a person, a brilliant portrayal. Shouma Kai as Sasaki lends good support especially towards the end of the second story. Katsuki Mori as Nao looks gorgeous and does a fabulous job in a conflicted role. Fusako Urabe as Moka is top notch. So is Aoba Kawai who is spectacular and the two of them feed off one another so well.
Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy is niche, gentle, subtle and so layered and complex. Highly Recommended!