a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Gokudo meshi

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Based on the manga by Shigeru Tsuchiyama, Gokudo meshi adds yet another variation on the food-centricity genre that seems to be the current staple for filmmakers without original ideas. Gokudo meshi takes 5 prisoners and stuck in a 6-mat cell, each sharing his most memorable food experience as part of boredom relieving, soul-revealing game. The cellmates – the old guy, the hardened middle-age yakuza family man, the young wannabe on the road to ruin, the young guy who’s a lot mixed-up and fatty- fantasize about an array of comfort foods  – pancakes, omu-raisu, tamago gohan, steak, overcooked seafood and ramen – associated with nostalgia around sex, moms, families, moms, girlfriends and moms. Director Tetsu Maeda (School Days with a Pig) plays it broadly with a genial cast. Though keeping the screen interesting with theatrical fantasy sequences and smart use of space, Maeda’s timing is way off. He also relies far too much on unfunny clichés, fart humor and annoying cutaways to faces entranced in food orgasm. All in all, Gokudo meshi’s a rather unsatisfying trifle.

Originally published in EL Magazine, September 2011

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 1, 2011 at 2:25 am

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