Funuke - Show Some Love, You Losers

Japan, 2007
Original title: Funuke domo, kanashimi no ai wo misero
Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Starring: Eriko Sato, Hiromi Nagasaku, Masatoshi Nagase, Aimi Satsukawa
IMDB: 7.5

Right from the get-go, with a title like "Show some love, you losers" you'll get the idea this is not your ordinary kind of movie. Funuke is at its core a family drama - but like Takashi Miike's Visitor Q and Happiness of the Katakuris, its a family drama that's been twisted into a uniquely Japanese aesthetic.

Where the previously mentioned Miike offerings are seriously imbued with a WTF factor, Funuke falls more on the side of 'quirky' rather than 'bizarre'.

The story revolves around 2 sisters - Kiyomi (Aimi Satsukawa) is a shy reclusive type with a hidden talent for drawing manga comics, and Sumika (Eriko Sato) is the gorgeous wanna-be actress with money problems. Trying to keep the peace between them is their brother Shinji and his new wife Machiko.

Unfortunately for Shinji, Sumika has a secret weapon to ensure she gets her way. Just what that secret weapon is you will have to watch the movie to find out!

This is a well-scripted movie, and despite its almost 2 hour running time, has no problem engaging your interest for the duration.

This is chiefly due to the superb acting of the cast who create a family dynamic like no other. Of special note is the hilariously upbeat performance from Hiromi Nagasaku as Machiko, despite how she is treated. She brings a style of physical humour and facial expression that is often laugh-out loud funny.

Fans of the live-action manga Cutie Honey will also be interested to see Eriko Sato showing her acting chops here. She's still gorgeous of course, but this time she gets to act without the perpetual dumbfounded expression!

For fans of Japanese cinema willing to look beyond the extreme, or fans of the lovely Miss Sato, this movie makes for a very entertaining evening.

Rating: 7/10

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