Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Along with Drive My Car, this triptych is one of two new films from LFF favourite Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Happy Hour, Asako I & II).
Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri
Japan 2021. 121min
With English subtitles
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy centres on three women in seemingly disparate tales of coincidence: one who realises a friend is dating an ex and wonders if she wants him back; one who finds that a half-heartedly-set honeytrap backfires, and one involved in a case of mistaken identity. Hamaguchi has an unusual rehearsal style which sees his actors learn lines by table reading together in flat monotone until the shoot. Then in medium or long shots, often through extended speeches in enclosed spaces, the tiniest emotions take on epic scale. That happens here – to devastatingly lovely effect – in a final ‘episode’ in which two middle aged women connect after at first mistaking each other for high school classmates. Deserving winner of the Silver Bear the Berlin Film Festival.
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