a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Parade / パレード

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Like a dyspeptic version of the American sitcom, Friends, Parade looks on the lives of a group of mismatched 20-somethings sharing a 2LDK apartment in an outer ward of Tokyo. Unlike Friends, the characters have a few secrets ranging from shades of light gray to black. Adapted from the prize-winning novel by Shuichi Yoshida, director Isao Yukisada (Go, A Good Husband) takes on the proceedings and revelations with a workmanlike eye, revealing telltale details and necessary plot motivators, with dispassionate precision. The solid cast dutifully fulfills their respective storylines to their appropriate and downbeat endings. The quintet of very good young character actors – all contemporary veterans of TV and moves – Tatsuya Fujiwara (Battle Royale), young heart throb Kento Hayashi, Shihori Kanjiya, model/actress Karina and Keisuke Koide elicit some moments, but are ultimately left as confined as the cramped confines their apartment in letting their characters fly. Stilted and “meaningful” ensemble scenes coupled with a propensity for broad and shallow direction leave the hard working cast adrift and Parade looking like a TV reject.

Originally published in EL Magazine, February 2010

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