a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Lost Paradise in Tokyo / 东京失乐园

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Director Kazuya Shiraishi’s auspicious debut feature, Lost Paradise in Tokyo is not without its rough edges and a somewhat sentimental denouement, but on the whole it sparks with a smart script and a trio of well-tuned actors who turn the unusual love triangle story into a touching parable of coping and getting by in the big city. Mikio (Katsuya Kobayashi) plays a salaryman out-of-water, charged with taking care of his developmentally disabled brother, Saneo (Takaki Uda). This involves basically locking him in the apartment all day.  Hiring a call girl, Marin (Chika Ushida), to service his brother’s sexual needs opens the door to facing down their demons and allowing the three to follow their dreams.  Kobayashi plays the controlling brother with a well-modulated sense of love, shame and reluctant devotion. Uda does the hard role of a man with adult needs and desires warped in the mixed-up mind of autism. And Ushida’s balance of no-nonsense sex worker and cosplay wannabe with dreams brings heart and soul to the kawaii girl looking for something more.

Published in EL Magazine, September 2010

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

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