a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Kenta to Jun to Kayo-chan no Kuni / ケンタとジュンとカヨちゃんの国 / A Crowd of Three

with 2 comments

A Crowd of Three begins follows the story of Kenta (Shota Matsuda) and Jun (Kengo Kora), two brutalized and brutal buddies who decide to break free from their dead-end jobs and hit the road in a stolen truck to find Kenta’s imprisoned brother. A pivotal scene when they decide to make their getaway frames them amidst unfinished expressways, telegraphing their fool’s errand. Though Matsuda and Kora are uniformly good in their roles, the machinations of the story, unconvincing psychology and an unrepentant misogyny begin to the cripple the film. Even the usually brilliant Sakura Ando as the simpering and continually abused girlfriend, Kayo-chan is left only with a set of mannerisms to carry her role. As the film unravels, moments of downbeat sentiment surface, particularly when they finally make it to see the prison-broken brother. However, director Tatsushi Omori (Whispering of Gods) throws it all away with not one, but two endings. This plot device, popular among many young Japanese directors, rarely works and certainly doesn’t with A Crowd of Three.

Originally published in EL Magazine, May 2010


2 Responses

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  1. Here I am again linked from the single external IMDb review. Thanks again for that. A lot of folks have trouble enjoying, even digesting (unrelentingly) unhappy films–which is what I suspect this one is. I don’t think you are one of those people, so it gives me pause when I consider your take on this film, and whether I should seek it out. I am a huge Sakura Ando fan, up to this point sure that I would see everything she showed up in, now, I dunno. Feels better to be a little bit more informed. And yeah, what’s with this multiple endings craze? Tells me the director lacks vision or confidence or both. Not a selling point.


    June 18, 2011 at 11:20 pm

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