a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Soup / スープ

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Soup mixes up a number of ingredients – sitcom, afterlife musings and high school romcom – in thick glop of a movie that has a few interesting moments and plenty of unexpected trajectories. Director Yuki Otsuka’s sophomore feature, though, is painfully overburdened and sloppily crafted. The story starts with Kenichi ( Katsuhisa Namase ), a single father/adman having a testy time with his daughter and an office superior, Ayase (Manami Konishi). They’re quickly dispatched by a lightning bolt. Cut to the afterlife where they meet with endearingly outré Tsutomo (Hiroki Matsukata), who circuitously guides them to the soup of the title. Drinking the soup erases one’s past life before the next step of reincarnation. Our hero, Kenichi, refuses the soup and leaps into… the body of a high schooler! With this left turn, the film goes into new territory – a kid with growing pains and the memories of a 50-something. The well cast youngsters of the final act valiantly try to make sense of the Byzantine and archly Freudian plot, but by then the soup’s gone tepid.

Originally published in EL Magazine, July 2012

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

July 2, 2012 at 7:06 am

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