a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Ranboumono no sekai / 乱暴者の世界 / Index Gun

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Cult actor, director, radio personality Kei Nakata’s Index Gun is an improbable fantasy pitting goofy cool – a quite likeable Keisuke (Takeshi Hayashino) – against hip cool – a dour and dark Kamio (Shintaro Akiyama). Keisuke is a tall, mop-headed man about town, spinning discs, cadging a yen here and there, living with Ayumi (Yurika Kurosawa). Enter, Kamio, sporting low budget Matrix duds, a lot of ‘tude and the power to mesmerize any and all in his somewhat undetermined desire to control, particularly, Keisuke’s gal, Ayumi. Mass delusion – people witnessing him shoot bullets with his index finger, misconstruing tissue paper as paper money, forgetfulness – is what he does. Keisuke seems to be the only person on Earth on to this trickster. Against improbable odds he ultimately gets the upper hand. Nakata’s patently juvenile take on 20 something relationships, hipster life and sci-fi storytelling make for a mighty slog. Redeeming the film a bit is a sequence highlighting Masako Togawa, writer, chanteuse and doyenne of Aoiheya, the Shibuya club where much of Index Gun is set.

Originally published in EL Magazine, Oct. 2010

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