Thicker Than Water

(Ken’en, 犬猿)

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme 2019

23 March 2019 2:30pm

Standard £8
concession £7, members £6.50

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Certificate: 15
Length: 103 mins
Director: Keisuke Yoshida
Cast: Masataka Kubota, Hirofumi Arai, Keiko Enoue
Language: Japanese with English subtitles

Gripping drama exposing the turbulent relationships between two pairs of siblings as they grapple with one another like cats and dogs –or, to be more faithful to the original Japanese title, like ‘dogs and monkeys’. Kazunari (Masataka Kubota) has his life asan upstanding office worker thrown into turmoil when his violent ex-con brother (Hirofumi Arai) unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep. Meanwhile, Yuria (Keiko Enoue), a woman portrayed as reliable but conventionally unattractive, juggles the responsibility of running the family print shop with taking care of her ailing father. Her younger sister Mako (Miwako Kakei) is a complete antithesis; charming and ditzy, she flouts all duties in favour of flirtations and impressing on everyone her status as a ‘high-profile’ actress. Entertainingly intersected at various points, the two narratives – complete with interspersed slapstick – delineate the rising tensions among the siblings which soon are ready to overflow.

The latest offering from Himeanole director, Keisuke Yoshida, this work is based on his original script and shines an expository light onto the perpetual dichotomy of sibling rivalry and filial love.

“The best thing in the movie, [Enoue] goes above and beyond the call of funny.” – The Japan Times

 

With thanks to Major Sponsors JAL, Yakult, Sasakawa and Sponsors in Kind Japan Centre, Okinawa Film Office.