a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Bakamono / ばかもの / The Idiots

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Alcoholism seems to be the subject du jour in Japanese cinema these days. Bakamono weighs in, but with a more psychologically probing and clearer look at a young man’s descent than Yoi ga sametara uchi ni kaerou. Unfortunately, by the final act, director Shusuke Kaneke manages to jaw-droppingly throw away what made the film interesting for a contrived denouement. As Hide, Hiroki Naramiya puts in a great performance as a naive young college student who meets a slightly older seductress, Yuki (Yuki Uchida). With her wild and worldly ways she makes a man out of him. Just as soon, she leaves. Hide goes from bad to worse, hitting the bottle hard and emotionally falling apart. Family and friends witness his fall. But he lands, leading to recovery. Great ensemble work, particularly Takashi Kobayashi as his father and Yuko Kotegawa as his mother, makes a moving exploration into the dynamics of alcoholism. However, 10 years later, when his lost love is found, missing an arm and silver-haired, Bakamono falls into cliché with no chance of recovery.

Originally published in EL Magazine, December 2010


Written by Nicholas Vroman

November 30, 2010 at 12:13 am

One Response

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  1. Thanks for taking the time (if it is indeed you) to link your reviews at IMDb. I often forget to just stop by your site but invariably end up here from IMDb’s external reviews page. I’m getting a pretty good idea of where your coming from as a cinephile, so it doesn’t matter if we agree or not. Thus, thanks also for being useful and interesting.


    June 5, 2011 at 11:34 pm

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