Miike does it again, further proving that he his currently the best director in the world, and that Asia is, and has for the last 5 years been making the best films. Again the main theme of the film is family, as we watch the Katakuri family, four generations and a dog, struggling to start a new life in the countryside by opening a Hotel/Inn. The tone and content of the film is lighter than many of the recent films he has gained Western recognition for, such as Audition, but his trademark weirdness, violence and wonderful originality is all here. Each family member is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses-Great Grandpa hates crows, Grandpa is losing faith in his business and cannot trust his son who is a former thief, Grandma tries to keep the family together and mother will fall in love to easily. Her daughter tells the story, and is largely a solitary figure. Then people start to die.
A guest kills himself, the family cover it up, and Mother falls in love with a psycho. Later, more guests die, and the psycho comes back leading to a police chase, animated mountain side fight, zombie dancers and several musical numbers. Then the Volcano erupts. The use of animation is excellent, the songs are short and catchy, and the story is interesting. There are lots of funny moments, the kinds of moments Hollywood, or anywhere else just cannot give, and every performance is brilliant. Plus the film looks gorgeous as well. Another great film form Takashi Miike, if you take the time to explore his movies, he deserves your praise. Whether he cares about Western recognition is another matter. The last thing to say is that he makes better films than anyone else at the moment. Hollywood director’s make 1 movie every four years, quality average. Takashi- 5 films a year, almost all excellent.
The DVD has trailers, interviews, and thankfully a very good making of. More Tartan DVDs should be like this, as the best movies at the moment are coming from Asia at the moment and it would be good to know more about the cast, and making process.
As always, feel free to leave your comments on the movie- did Miike try to throw too much into this one or does it pay off?