LOVE & PEACE
released OUT NOW! 2015 | PG | Blu-ray/dvd Director sion sono Cast Hiromi Hasegawa, Kumiko asô, Toshiyuki Nishida, Kiyohiko shibukawa
Pixar’s Toy Story films were one take on the concept of sentient toys with a life of their own – and old, thrown-away toys mourning their lost owners and the love they once knew. This Japanese film is another; it couldn’t be more different.
Ryoichi is a pathetic character, bullied at work and literally bowed down with the weight of his own self-loathing. He finds happiness in a pet turtle, Pikadon, to whom he whispers his dreams of rock stardom, but is left distraught when his tormentors at work force him to flush the turtle away. Pikadon is washed to an underground lost and found, full of abandoned toys and pets that have been given speech by the mysterious – and alcoholic – Pa. But instead of speech, Pa gives Pikadon the power to grant wishes, and Ryoichi’s life starts to get a whole lot better…
Surprisingly dark in places, this surreal adventure often feels like several film genres in one, from the painful office relationships to the fantastical toy workshop to the inevitable Kaiju city destruction. Packed full of imagination and style, it never quite hits the spot, but has some good fun trying.
Extras A special effects featurette (24 minutes) and the trailer.
“Pikadon” refers to the nuclear bomb detonations on Japan – Pika meaning brilliant light, and don meaning boom.
Sushi restaurants: can be cruel.