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Archive for June 15th, 2012

Parade (2010)

4 young people are living together in a small cramped 2LDK apartment: the slacker Ryosuke who is having an affair with his friend’s girlfriend, Kotomi who spends her day waiting for a phone call from her busy actor boyfriend and watches his dramas on the TV, Mirai the commercial illustrator who smokes and drinks a lot in a gay bar and Naoki, a worker for a film distribution company who to relieve the stress of his job goes around jogging around his neighbourhood at night. Their world and the camaraderie they’ve built up is changed one morning when they find a male prostitute called Satoru has slept in their apartment one night. None of the 4 have any idea who he is and how he got invited to stay there but they accept him nevertheless. However, they begin to investigate his background when several women are assaulted around the area which coincided with the time he appeared on the scene. Is he the culprit that’s attacking these woman and is he also linked with the dodgy government people that keep turning up to the apartment next door?

I think by knowing very little about this movie was what made me enjoy it so much. Starting off on a light note, this drama changes dramatically to a more serious tone in the second half as some dark secrets are revealed about the flatmates with a twist near the end that was shocking to see. It took me completely by surprise because you don’t see it coming. It begs the question how well do we really know our friends and to what lengths will they try and keep up the image you have of them? Do some of your friends perhaps lead secret lives? Is there a monster lurking inside one of them that you know nothing about? These questions are all answered in this movie as some home truths comes out about our 4 flatmates. The viewer is lulled into a false sense of security during the first hour as the flatmates joke about and try and find out what’s going on next door. They think it’s a whorehouse where government officials go and have sex with young girls. The truth though is nothing like what they thought it was and with the resolution to that dilemma over and done with, the tone shifts very gradually to the dark side as Naoki trails Satoru all over town to find out who he really is and what he does during the day. It is nothing though to what is discovered about the rest of the flatmates as they open up about their secrets.

Some fabulous performances from the entire cast but especially from Tatsuya Fujiwara who shows another side of his acting that I haven’t seen before. An excellent script and great directing by Isao Yukisada. The mix of comedy and drama is very well done. After the shocking last revelation about the activities of one of the flatmates, you think the movie is going to go down a certain route but it doesn’t and credit to the director for giving an ending that I certainly didn’t expect. Parade is a brilliant and thought provoking movie which deserves your attention. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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