a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Key of Life / 鍵泥棒のメソッド / Kagi Dorobo no Mesotdo

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At the end of his rope, underemployed actor, Sakurai (Masato Sakai) goes to the sento after failing to hang himself. At the sento he spies Kondo (Teruyuki Kagawa), who has decided to bathe after just cold-bloodedly murdered a businessmen. Kondo slips on a bar of soap in an over-the-top pratfall, knocking himself out into a state of amnesia. Sakurai sees his opportunity. He takes Kondo’s belongings and proceeds to live his life. Meanwhile, officematon, Kanae (Ryoko Hirosue) decides to schedule her upcoming marriage. Problem is, no fiancé. For a woman who likes order in her life, she sees no problem in finding her man. The man she finds is Kondo; now thinking he’s Sakurai. The crazy twists and turns of the plot make for a wild ride. With the bravura timing and comedic control of the three leads – in addition to a sweet supporting cast – show off the best of all of them. Like a comedy version of The Passenger, Kenji Uchida’s Key of Life digs into the nature of identity, but sans pretention.

Originally published in EL Magazine, Sept. 2012

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