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Vital [DVD]

7 customer reviews

Price: £7.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 10 left in stock.
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£7.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 10 left in stock. Sold by FilmloverUK and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Vital [DVD] + A Snake Of June [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tadanobu Asano, Nami Tsukamoto, Kiki, Kazuyoshi Kushida, Lily
  • Directors: Shin'ya Tsukamoto
  • Producers: Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Kiyo Joo
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Tartan
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Feb. 2006
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B64VGW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,834 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Supernatural Japanese thriller. Takagi (Tadanobu Asano) is badly injured in a car accident that also kills his girlfriend Ryoko (Nami Tsukamoto). When he eventually recovers, he has no memories of his previous life, or of Ryoko. A blank shell of a man, Takagi finds a series of medical textbooks in his parents' house and decides to enroll in medical school. While going through the motions of a normal life, Takagi becomes increasingly obsessed with the corpse of a young woman in his dissection class. Gradually his memories start returning as he realises that the body is that of his dead girlfriend Ryoko. Growing more protective of the body, Takagi also starts experiencing waking dreams of his dead girlfriend, but is Takagi suffering hallucinations as a result of his mental state, or has he found some way of communicating with Ryoko's spirit?

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lone Reviewer on 15 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
Vital is a dark twisted and ultimately touching story from Shinya Tsukamota (Tetsuo, A Snake of June). Upon first hearing about this movie and its plot I was expecting it to be yet another Asian horror flick so I wasn’t really anticipating its release. Then I discovered that it was directed by Tsukamota so naturally I tried to find a copy as soon as possible. After finally watching the movie I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was more drama than horror.
Takagi (Tadanobu Asano – Last Life in the Universe, Ichi the Killer) is a med student who awakens in hospital with amnesia after being involved in a car accident. Although Takagi can’t remember the details of his life he still retains the skills and knowledge of medicine. With this seeming to be the only link to his past he decides to enrol at the local med school to try and continue his life. As he goes through school with no real connection to the world around him he has very little progress in recalling his lost memories. However, when partaking in a group dissection he soon realises that the cadaver in front of him is that of his dead girlfriend who was killed in the same car crash he was in. As Takagi begins to probe deeper into the corpse he starts to unlock memories from his past and rapidly becomes obsessed with it...
If you’re a fan of Shinya Tsukamota then you might be shocked to find that this movie doesn’t involve any strange metallic devices attached to people’s bodies and that the film shoot in a full array of different colours. This is still a Shinya Tsukamota film though and he still sticks to the similar topics that are present in his other work.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bogdan Tiganov on 18 Feb. 2006
Format: DVD
This is the second time I'm saying this. You're not likely to find a more complete masterpiece around than this film. Not Wook, not Miike, nobody in world arthouse could have delievered a film like this. Inside out. From heart to soul to heart again. Dissecting humanity and coming from a director who's spent his career looking at evolution. Beautiful. Moving. Perfectly acted. And even better that nobody took any notice of it so, therefore, it's not overrated or hyped up.

Bogdan Tiganov - author of The Wooden Tongue Speaks- Romanians: Contradictions & Realities
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Format: DVD
Shinya Tsukamoto is a director best known for his violent, hard-hitting and heavily industrial-influenced art-dramas, such as the 1988 cult-classic Tetsuo: The Iron Man and it's somewhat poorly received 1991 follow up Tetsuo II: Body Hammer. These films are placed alongside his two contemporary masterpieces, Tokyo Fist and A Snake of June. Whereas those films were fast, furious and hyper-kinetic affairs, punctuated by grainy cinematography, punch-drunk editing and a soundtrack of jarring industrial noise, Vital finds the maverick filmmaker in a slightly more poetic and philosophical mood; creating a slow and lingering film that looks at the notions of love and loss through the eyes of a central character trying to both understand and come to terms with the death of his free-spirited former lover.

As with much of Tsukamoto's work, the film is rich in visual symbolism and texture, with the opening scene disorientating us with a kaleidoscopic montage of four industrial chimney-stacks pumping smoke into an overcast sky. Later on, after enrolling in a medical course at his local college, our protagonist will witness four bodies being dissected, including, surprisingly enough, that of the central character's deceased love. This is the central arch of the story and the location where much of the film unfolds, with Tadanobu Asano's character Takagi piecing his life back together as he literally picks apart the body of his former lover and comes to terms with his own role in the loss of her life.
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Format: DVD
Asano is fantastic in this movie, drifting through most of it with a palpable dissociation from the world around him. This is not a horror film, nor even a ghost story as such but more of a "magic realist" love story. Well acted, occasionally confusing, not fully explained but never unconvincing, I would recommend this to anyone who has the patience for movies that unfold steadily but gradually.
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