Monday, June 22, 2009

Tokyo Eyes

Tokyo Eyes; Drama, France/ Japan, 1998; D: Jean-Pierre Limosin, S: Hinano Yoshikawa, Shinji Takeda, Kaori Mizushima, Takeshi Kitano

Tokyo. Panic spread through the city due to the mysterious villain with glasses, "Four Eyes", who threatens and shoots at passer bys, but always misses them. The newspapers are full of sensational articles and wonder if he is deliberately missing them or if he is just cross-eyed. Hinano (17) works as a hairdresser and lives with her brother the police officer, who is is searching for "Four Eyes". Hinano stumbles upon the rebel, nicknames him K and goes to his apartment. At first, she wants to hand him over to the police, but then she changes her mind because she fell in love. In a disco, K again scares one person, so Hinano begs him to stop. But K kills one passer by and when he sells him gun to a Yakuza he begs him to throw it away, which he does. K and Hinano separate.

"Tokyo Eyes" is some sort of crime art drama, but everything in it is lukewarm and mild - up until the point where the viewers might ask themselves if they are watching some TV soap opera. Already after some 60 minutes the feeling is crystallized that the product only watchable because nothing much happens in the passive story whereas the director Jean-Pierre Limosin has a steady hand, but doesn't have anything special to show here. The best parts are humorous: in one scene, a crumb falls into Hinano's eye, so K picks it out with his tongue, or when the two of them are running through the road with arms stretched out, imagining to fly. And here and there the film surprises pleasantly with occasional references to other films, like when Hinano wears an umbrella and dresses like Angela from the Godard's film "A Woman is a Woman". The story about an honest criminal offered a lot more intriguing relationships and discussions, not just a light drama, though the actress Hinano Yoshikawa is wonderful.


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