"...You know what? This is a great movie where two gay samurai dance and sing and go on a journey to save one of them from drugs. And you know what? It's a kind of musical, a kind of horror, a kind of crime, a kind of human drama but surely a comedy. And you know what? The junkie sees a lot of strange things and they meet weird people that sing istead of talking and then Yaji pulls Kita's balls (one of the funniest scene in this movie!) and Kita joins a yakuza boss fan club, dressing like a high school girl and rolling on the grass and then they're separeted and Kita turns for a half into a magic mushroom and Yaji's 'farted away'..." (Seriously!)
And that's my enthusiasm while relating about "Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims" to everyone was that patient to listen to me. Because I always suggest to watch this film to those who love Japan and Japanese culture (I read somewhere this is a kind of a must see of the Japanese pop culture).
But I didn't watch it for a cultural purpose. I decided to watch it because I was searching for a wacky comedy. and I had seen this video. I soon liked the intro in black and white that pays homage and make fun of old Japanese horror movies. After a few minutes it becomes a colorful psychedelic semi-musical, like I expected.
But once I've seen the first part, that is merely a comedy, when I didn't expect any other thing but to keep on laughing, I discovered a great road movie, a chance to think about life, love, death, morality and the importance of imagination to overcome a painful reality. And yes, our relationship with reality is the real point of the film. Kita has a sad one and keep on repeating "Reality is boring... This ain't my reality..."
The scenes before the ending are beautiful and moving, when Yaji arrives to the source of the River Styx, where death and life are connected, and he finds that the real border between them is our tears.
I read somewhere that it's impossible to wholly understand this movie if you're not Japanese. And maybe it's true, there are some gags that really confused me and reference to Japanese pop culture that I got only because I've seen many other movies and love this Country. But life is made of some values that are the same in the whole world, and this film explores them all. And then, guys, funny situations are funny everywhere.
With "Yaji and Kita" the director Kankuro Kudo confirms to be a genius, especially as a screenwriter (see for example some great tv shows like Kisarazu Cat's Eye serie, the fantastic Tiger & Dragon or Ikebukuro west gate park) and also confirms to find in Tomoya Nagase the ideal protagonist of his stories: freak, immature, profound, fragile, beautiful, heroic. Perfect the chemistry between him and the other protagonist, Shichinosuke Nakamura, a famous and extraordinary kabuki actor and onnagata.
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