Fish Story

"Excellent"

Fish Story Review


With a lively tone and an intricately plotted multi-strand story, this Japanese drama holds our attention using humour, drama and an end-of-the-world scenario.

It's also a thoroughly charming bit of filmmaking.

As a cataclysmic comet approaches in 2012, three guys consider the ahead-of-its-time Japanese punk band Gekirin (meaning "wrath"), which released Fish Story in 1975, a year before the Sex Pistols formed. As they wonder whether music can save the world, we flash back 37 years to meet the bandmates (including Ito and Kora) struggling to stay afloat; shy Masashi (Hamada) in 1982 trying to work out the song's secret message; a cult awaiting Nostradamus' 1999 world-ending event; and a baker (Moriyama) and lost girl Asami (Tabe) who encounter terrorists in 2009.

Filmmaker Nakamura takes a bright, comical approach with a fast pace and snappy dialog, plus flashes of action and emotion. And it also helps that the title song is fiendishly catchy. As it leaps through the decades, the film intriguingly traces the path of a piece of music and its role in events along the way, from romance to violence. The most fleshed-out strand follows the rocky creation of the fateful record, which the producer (Omori) assures them will never sell anyway.

The cast is excellent, effectively weaving each person's story into the film's bigger plot with big personalities and interaction that's often fiery and sometimes touching. On the other hand, it's also somewhat tenuous and fragmented, not to mention random, although it's entertaining to see how each bit of the story fits together into the momentous lifespan of this one song, plus the badly translated book it quotes. And all of this is nicely tied up in a wonderfully clever coda.

Discussions of justice and chance abound, looking at ways people can make a difference in society and make sense of the world. The title Fish Story alone generates a superb discussion about exaggerated claims and personal responsibility. Even more interesting is the song-creation process, as the band grapples with originality versus commerce and tries to figure out how they fit into a society that ignores them. Yet they have no choice but to sing. And they might just save the planet in the process.



Fish Story

Facts and Figures

Genre: Foreign

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th March 2009

Distributed by: Amuse Soft Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 10

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura

Producer: Yasushi Udagawa

Starring: Kay Tse as Herself

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.