|MOVIE DETAILS |
• Name: Wonderful Paradise (aka Noten Paradise)
• Year: 2020
• Country: Japan
• Director: Masashi Yamamoto
• Main cast: Kaho Minami, Seikô Itô, Soran Tamoto, Mayu Ozawa
• Runtime: 97 minutes
• Production company: Cinema Impact, Continental Circus Pictures (CCP)
As a closure for the Fantasia Film Festival, I choose a party. But, of course, not any party. A party with some fantasy elements, a little bit of sex, and all surrounded by comedy. And if it can also have some random blood showers, then even better. So the choice of Wonderful Paradise (2020) was a good one since that is more or less the same that this family encounters.
The movie centers on a family on a moving day from their big home. Money debts and the disestablishment of the family force the patriarch to move out of their home. But the teenage daughter won’t conform with the defeat, and she decides to throw a massive farewell party – without the consent of the father, of course. So what we get is a procession of weird characters parading one after the other, creating all sorts of surreal situations. Dead people that happen not to be dead, a kid that won’t know how to jump down a swing, talking cats, neck stabbings, monsters that produce yummy coffee, and a mother who find her kid transformed into a piece of wood. And all wrapped up in a halo of comedic absurdity, a choral film with tons of characters them all being far from normal.
Wonderful Paradise (2020) is a very colorful movie, and always with a vibe of good intentions. The cinematography is delicious and it fits with the tone of the film. It is true that at first it starts a little slow, and one could fear to be facing another slow contemplative Asian pseudo-comedy. But as soon as the party starts and crazy events happen the doors for delightful nonsense are wide open and they won’t close until the film is over.
Masashi Yamamoto is a veteran filmmaker who has been behind introspective dramas like Three Points (2011) and The Voice of Water (2014), obscure depravation and sexuality like Junk Food (1997), and even horror films like Cycle (2005) and Tokyo of the Dead (2006). But he still has the eye to create an almost childish fable with a sweet moral, where a tale about a broken family can lead to something far from drama.
Masashi Yamamoto might be considered a punk iconoclast, but in his new movie he seems to want to share the idea that no matter how bad your situation is, put a smile on your face, throw a party, and let the good vibes flow. And, now, tell me, isn’t that punk?
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt13403572
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