a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Yûkai Rhapsody / 誘拐ラプソディ

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Yukai Rhapsody opens with Date Hideyoshi (Katsunori Takahashi) at wits end – no money and no future.  His feeble and supposedly humorous attempts at suicide leave the viewer pretty cautious as to how the film will play out. However, with the introduction of little Densuke (the impossibly cute Ryui Hayashi) Yukai Rhapsody takes off. Finding out that Densuke is the son of a rich businessman, Date jumps into an improbable kidnapping plan. The main problem though, is that Densuke’s father is a local yakuza heavy who has an army of tough guys to deal with the problem. Part buddy movie, part slapstick chase caper, there are a few too many subplots and some ham- handed direction by Hideo Sakaki, to make Yukai Rhapsody more than a diversion. But Sakaki, better known for his acting, at least knows how to bring out the best in his actors.  As Date becomes the fun “ojichan” who buys convenience store ramen and toys for Densuke as they lead their pursuers on a circular chase, their chemistry and rapport becomes touching.

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

April 1, 2010 at 1:19 am

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