The story features “Shu”, the manager at a hostess bar, “Koji”, a waiter at the hostess bar, and “Ken-san”, an owner of a Yakiniu restaurant chain who is a regular customer at the hostess bar. The three guys succeed in a bank robbery, and escape with yen valued at several hundred million. It depicts the bargaining, deceiving, and quarrels between those three as each one of them tries to get more money than the other two Edit Translation
- Bahasa Indonesia
Cast & Credits
The film starts out very simple; a bank robbery already took place and the three culprits are trying to divide the money amongst themselves. Things start to get fishy between the three partners as schemes and hidden motives start to surface. An endless game of trust begins to shatter their relationship. However, the plot doesn’t keep lingering on that narration pattern. After a while, we get countless of smartly inserted flashbacks which explain our main characters, the people who threatened them and their motives to commit a robbery.
Saibun no Ichi screenwriting is pretty clever at grabbing the audience attention. It kept adding a twist after the other and a development after another which had a strong effect to keep me glued to the screen. It even triggered a nice guessing game about the following events. However, the script wasn’t perfect by any mean. It failed at balancing comedy and crime. It’s obvious that those two genres are entirely different but it’s not supposed to be this confusing. At some time frame, it became painful to set my mind: am I supposed to laugh or feel the chills? Before I knew it, the scene passes by as if nothing happened. After all, it was some type of a crazy film. Those of you who are well familiar with the “weird Japanese cinema” will know what I am talking about.
Unlike most Japanese film, One Third had some exceptional conversations about Hollywood films, actors, directors and even similar settings. One of the main characters is an actress while the main character himself aimed to become a director just because he was fascinated with Quentin Tarantino’s filmmaking. I found it rather innovative to discuss those types of topics in a Japanese picture. It’s also ironic because the goofy references they mentioned worked so well in building many scripts and swindling games inside the story. It felt like the whole film was some kind of a big fat play.
Now, let’s talk about the acting. Honestly, I didn’t feel so good about the leading cast but they were surprisingly fine. I have some type of issues with Fujiwara’s overacting, he was originally a theatre actor and he doesn’t seem to set a clear barrier between the stage and the big screen. However, to do him credit; I noticed obvious improvement in some of his recent works. One Third’s leading role counts for his favour. He even made his character appealing enough, aided by the fine characterization of course. Then we have Tanaka Koki, I apologize to his fans but I never for once thought of him as a good actor. His character saved him though, he was interesting as the ruthless cool Koji, even the acrobatic and fighting scenes he had were pretty good.
Other notable actors are definitely Kubozuka Yosuke and Nakashima Mika; the first played a lizard-like complex character while the latter played a very convincing ex-actress. Both of them led pretty well-crafted performances with those odd characters. But then again, all of this film’s characters are a nice bunch of anti-heroes.
Actor turned to director Shinagawa Hiroshi did a fine job with directing and writing this piece, I especially liked the visuals, some of the little details in the background made this film rather special.
-You like different unconventional Japanese films.
Do not watch if:
-You don’t appreciate crazy/wild Japanese cinema.
-You dislike Japanese humour.
Sanbun no Ichi is a nice surprise that came at a whim. It might be too crazy for some tastes but I always had a soft spot for untraditional Japanese filmmaking. This is a very entertaining picture in my personal book.