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The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

without comments

Concept: Remake a Korean black comedy as a cheesy Japanese musical

After being made redundant from a shoe shop, a father takes his somewhat dysfunctional family to a remote country area to open a guest house, convinced that a new road will make their fortune. Eventually, someone does arrive, but dies overnight. If the news gets out, no-one will want to stay, so they bury the body. This happens more than once and, say, isn't that a volcano over there…?

What's good: The plot is good, but then why remake films with bad ones? (Not that this has stopped anyone…)

The animated sections are quite fun and the acting is also good.

What's not so good: The humorous bits aren't funny enough, the horrific bits aren't scary enough, and the songs aren't done well enough.

Music: Deliberately cheesy, complete with karaoke lyrics (in Japanese) for one duet.

Miscellany: This was one of seven films director Takashi Miike was credited with in 2001. Some were much better than this, some much worse.

Overall: I really wanted to like this more, but see 'what's not so good'.

If it weren't for the director's reputation, I don't think this would ever have left Japan. Like his best work, it's certainly distinctive, but that doesn't make it good.

If you want to see horror-comedy-musical done right, see The Little Shop of Horrors which gets at least two out of the three spot on.

TL;DR I suspect the original is better

Film: 2/5
DVD: 4/5

Director's commentary (in Japanese, so you can't have the film's subtitles on at the same time unless you speak Japanese), a making of (highlight: a few seconds of the swing stunt), a short on the animation, interviews and some trailers reminding you that he's done much better.

Written by Ian

May 17th, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Cinema,DVDs

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