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Asako I & II

Netemo sametemo

Do we ever really get over our first love? Asako is about to find out, in this quirky romantic drama with a dash of the uncanny.

Dir Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Prod Yuji Sadai, Teruhisa Yamamoto, Yasuhiko Hattori
Scr Sachiko Tanaka, Ryusuke Hamaguchi
With Masahiro Higashide, Erika Karata, Koji Seto
Japan-France
2018
119min
Sales mk2 Films
Subtitles

Baku is an attractive, impulsive dude with a wild side. When Asako meets him, she is swiftly smitten and the duo’s sexual chemistry fires off the charts. Then, one day, Baku vanishes. Asako is crushed but moves on. Two years later, she meets Ryohei, a more conventional chap who is warm and honest but physically Baku’s perfect double. Is it wrong to date someone because they are identical to an ex-lover? Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Happy Hour, LFF 2015) adapts Tomoka Shibasaki’s novel in his own charming and unpredictable style, mixing stillness and humour with bursts of energy. His characters are unafraid to lay down harsh emotional truths, confronting the choice between the kind of love that’s good and enriching and the kind that’s explosive and destructive.

Kate Taylor

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