Monday, December 15, 2008

Gachi Boy: Wrestling with a Memory

Japan 2008

Igarashi was one of the most promising students at his university. Intent on becoming a lawyer he even passed his bar exam a year before completing his degree. After a car accident Igarashi has suffered permanent brain damage and cannot create new memories. Each morning he wakes up and notes tacked to the ceiling and walls remind him to read the journals he has been keeping since the accident. His extensive notes have helped him function in day-to-day life. His dreams of becoming a lawyer dashed and a foreseeable future working in the family bath house with his father Igarashi intends to live out one more dream. He has always wanted to be a masked wrestler.

This is some comedic heart felt warmth! Such a surprise. The laughs at first are the epitome of hit or miss nearly failing as a comedy. As the film progresses and the characters are deepened you then realize that this film is all about the triumph of the human desire to do in life what we are truly passionate about, despite sad ironic circumstances. Truly deeply rooted to major character substance amidst a plot that is completely ridiculous, the movie's ability to reel you in gradually is the superb direction that was skillfully crafted to do. I laughed, I welt up, I felt sympathy and joy! It made me feel like an innocent 8 year old boy, watching Sassy fall over the waterfall or Shadow finally making it up over the hill in Homeward Bound.
I shit you not. Such a sensible yet over the top comical drama about people balancing out their lives and relationship with a good friend with an unfortunate disability and with that friend finding a solution on a daily basis to compensate for his own inability to remember what he is so passionate about in the first place.

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