a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Teidakankan / てぃだかんかん / てぃだかんかん~海とサンゴと小さな奇跡~

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A formulaic little-guy-does-well-against-odds eco dramedy, Teidakankan redeems its hokiness with a fine ensemble cast, headed by Takashi Okamura, well known as the boke role of the popular manzai team, Ninety-Nine. Okamura plays Kenta who goes through an unexceptional, though simply fulfilling life in a small Okinawan beach town. He becomes impassioned with re-seeding the dying coral reefs. After setting up a shop where he and his friends do their homemade experiments, Kenta is soon caught up in local and national celebrity. As his cause grows, he finds himself ridiculed by scientists, caught up in a small media circus and ultimately losing his direction.  Of course, as these things go, with a little bit of wifely love and good talking to, friends and community rescuing the day like the cavalry would in a classic western and a slightly overblown finale where the impassive coral finally do their reproductive thing, a happy ending is a must.  Director Toshio Lee (Detroit Metal City) cinematic trifle hints at the issues around the destruction of ocean environments but largely keeps it light.

Originally published in EL Magazine, April 2010

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