Top positive review
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Leave any expectations at the door, you are in for a surprise!
on 21 September 2011
I thought "Funuke" would be a light-hearted comedy with a quirky and lovable female lead.
Boy, I was wrong. You are in for a surprise, dont let the cover dismiss you, this film holds the dark facade of the hidden and shameful secrets of a Japanese family.
Funuke is an aspiring actress, she is a material girl, her sister Kyomi is a parallel opposite. Funuke is a complex character, she will do anything and everything to get what she wants. I mean everything. Much to her dismay her allowance to live in Tokyo is gone when her parents are involved in a car accident. This calls Funuke back to her family house in the countryside to attend her parents funeral and also to hopefully change her brother Shinji's decision as he is now head of the household.
This means chaos for the remaining Wago family, Funuke while cute in appearance is a hell-raiser. She is a bully, seductress, cruel and in many ways is considered the villian of the story. She also holds a grudge against her sister Kyomi and treats her with hatred as Kyomi's manga is based on her family's dark secrets which revolves around Funuke's shenanigans, which gets published by accident. This unfortunately gets recognised as a thinly veiled retelling of the events in the household bringing shame onto the family. Kyomi, is reserved and polite but unforgiven about her manga, she suffers the full-brunt of Funuke's selfish ways.
All the characters revolve around Funuke, they all have a purpose, to reveal something bad or distorted about Funuke. Yes this means the supporting characters could be seen as charicatures, but its not really their story to tell, and the supporting characters exist as a means of communcation to the audience of what Funuke is like through their interactions.
Another note, is the film's cinematography. The scenery outside the house is bright and cheerful, in contrast the interior of the house and the village in general appears to be dull, dusty, cluttered and run-down. It serves as a very direct way of how Funuke perceived her childhood, the dark secrets of her past and her reasons of moving to Tokyo. I also found the film, to have abit of a cheeky dark comedy to it, such as Machiko's name meaning foruntate one when nothing seems to go right for her including her relationship with her husband Shinji. The very exagerated scenes and awkard parts in the films are funny and yes there is a fart joke in the film! I loved how the film worked, there would be a stressful scene then some comedy, it helped to pace the film between rises in tension and lows. Yes I think the film probably could have been abit shorter, it runs for 113 mins approx.
This film surprised me in the right ways, it's definetly unique and quirky in its own right. I didn't see the ending coming and I really enjoyed this film. 5/5!