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Archive for June 27th, 2012

Crime Or Punishment?!? (2009)

Ayame Enjoji is an unsuccessful gravure idol living in the shadow of her former best friend and cover girl Momo, who reluctantly takes on the PR role of “police chief for a day” to pay for her crime of stealing a magazine from a convenience store. The job of a campaign girl is to smile and act as a police chief for one day. It should be a simple job, but the police station staff treat her like the real police chief and look to her for instructions. In addition, her ex-boyfriend, Haruki, is now a detective at the station, and her subordinate for the day. Haruki is not just a detective though; he is also a somewhat blasé serial killer and when he was in a relationship with Ayame he tried to kill her on several occasions! Can Ayame make it as a police chief and solve the many inter-connected crimes that happen in this 24-hour period, and what will become of Haruki?

Tagged somewhat as a Japanese version of a Monty Python comedy (which I think is highly inaccurate) because of it’s surrealism and craziness. It’s one of those comedies which will have viewers split down the middle – you’ll either love it or hate it depending on what you might interpret as good humour and if you like Japanese comedies which are different from Western ones. Some people might get confused as the plot isn’t linear either – several small stories are mixed up and woven together and time is flipped backwards and forwards. I’m a fan of wacky dark comedies so I enjoyed this movie. The various stories include a salaryman in love with a girl at a convenience store who is knocked over by a truck, the truck driver and his girlfriend who fight over who gets control of the radio in the cabin (he wants normal music, she wants trippy hippy music), a trio of inept villains who plan to rob the convenience store with a taser gun but constantly argue with each other and of course Haruki, the police detective/serial killer who wants to turn himself in but is prevented from doing so by various colleagues. I found myself laughing on more than one occasion whilst watching this movie such as a sequence in which we see Haruki attempting to strangle Ayame in the background whilst his mother and Sigmund Freud are discussing his behaviour to the camera. I could mention some other bits but I don’t want to spoil the silly stuff you’ll be able to see.

Riko Narumi as Ayama Enjoji who is given the task of being the police chief for the day is wonderful in her role but it’s not just Riko who makes this movie work so well. All of the supporting characters we come across contribute in their own way to provide the storyline with plenty of humour.

Crime or Punishment is a very enjoyable and entertaining insane comedy with many out of the ordinary happenings occuring in this movie which makes it so funny. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh then you could do no worse than see this. Recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5

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