DVD Review: The Foreign Duck, The Native Duck & God in a Coin Locker
A charming and quirky story with an unexpected twist!
Shiina thinks this will be a normal chat, but this is when the movie changes into one of strange proportions. After Kawasaki tells him of his younger life at high school, he also decides to ask his help with one of his neighbours, a Bhutanese man who hasn’t left his apartment in a long time. He tells Shiina a bit of his life story, and thinks that if he steals something for him, he might come out of hiding. Shiina wants to know why he can’t go and buy it, and Kawasaki tells him that if he steals it, it has so much more meaning to it than if he just bought it.
Shiina likes listening to Bob Dylan, and thinks he might seem geeky to Kawasaki, but he would be wrong as Shiina finds out he likes to hear his music too. He takes life in his stride even though he doesn’t want cash from his father to help with his studying at their university. He would prefer to be independent rather than rely on someone else for money, even a family member. He is quite shy and reserved, but seems to know about other people’s personal space.
Kawasaki is the exact opposite. He is open, friendly and almost extrovert at the side of Shiina, but there is something mysterious about him which we aren’t able to touch on until later in the film. He has a mischievous side Shiina finds exciting, but it could get him into a lot of trouble later.
It appears that their love of Dylan’s music, one song in particular, “Blowin’ In The Wind” is what connects Shiina and Kawasaki, but as Shiina becomes caught up in Kawasaki’s strange world, he soon realises he doesn’t know much about his neighbours than when he first moved there and somehow finds himself holding a toy gun and being a look-out for Kawasaki outside a bookshop. And so begins their unusual adventure together.
The story is an unusual one and centres around four people in particular, Shiina, Kawasaki, Reiko (Nene Otsuka) and Kotomi (Megumi Seki) seen in flashback. Reiko and Kawasaki know each other, and both warn Shiina not to trust the other no matter what they say. The movie starts out as a light-hearted comedy but mid-way turns more into a sort of mystery drama where there is a need to find out whom among Kawasaki and Reiko is lying.
No one knows what someone is really like until someone else tells them, and that is true of this movie. It’s peculiar, funny, intriguing and original. The characters are ideal, at least for a Japanese movie, and the story is cleverly brought to a conclusion which many will enjoy as it is unexpected. Highly recommended.
Label: Third Window Films
Release date: 14th January 2013
Running time: 110 mins
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Sandie has a keen interest in Anime, Manga and all things Japanese. Her interests other than reviewing are Japanese Language, dress and culture, liking Harajuku Girls, Gothic Lolita, folding some neat Origami, drawing her own Manga characters, writing her own Manga stories and everything in between.