a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Night People / ナイトピープル

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NightPeopleDirector Hajime Kadoi turned some heads a few years ago with his second feature, Vacation, a hard drama about a condemned man and his guard/keeper. His follow-up, Night People shows him lost in the face of making a genre entertainment. Night People is ostensibly a crime thriller, though there’s not very much very thrilling about it. The rather convoluted plot involves some stolen loot that everybody and their brother wants to get their hands on. There’s a gang, a hard-boiled cop, a beautiful femme-kinda-fatale, a male not-so-heavy. They all get involved in your basic cat shoot mouse game of betrayals, confusion, ineptly shot chase scenes and generally bad filmmaking. Particularly irksome is the use of genre tropes and images that act merely as signifiers of crime-iness, but fall flat with any emotional or narrative heft. A final shootout in the snow harks back to Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player, but is so ineptly put together it stands neither as a tribute nor much of a clever nod to the kind of filmmaker Kadoi aspires to be.

Originally published in EL Magazine, February 2013.


Written by Nicholas Vroman

February 1, 2013 at 12:39 am

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