a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Cold Bloom / Sakura Namiki no Mankai no Shita / 桜並木の満開の下に

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Cold_Bloom-p2There’s a certain point in Atsushi Funahashi’s ridiculously scripted drama of working class lives, Cold Bloom, where the viewer’s suspension of disbelief finally collapses and it all crashes. It could be with the initial plot driver. Kenji (Takahashi Yo), husband of and co-worker with Shiori (Usuda Asami) comes to his demise on the factory floor, crushed by mis-stacked oil drums. With her happy life in tatters, Shiori now has to deal with fellow worker. Mori (Miura Takahiro), whose negligence caused the accident, never misses an opportunity to apologize. It could be with the mounting economic demise of the factory, colored with some vague notions of the effects of 3.11. Or it could be with the bigoted bully, Shigeru (Miura Riki), whose violent antics in any real-world situation would land him in jail – but somehow he keeps his job. But not only is the plot full of holes, so is Funihashi’s cheesy direction. He never misses an opportunity for the ensemble to pose meaningfully or for an actor to chew a scene until it’s mush.

Originally published in EL Magazine, April 2013

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