Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2019: Our Review of ‘Another World’

Toronto Japanese Film Festival 2019: Our Review of ‘Another World’

A dramatic film through and through, Junji Sakamoto Another World is good at depicting minutiae. That is, after all the lively world of two of its three Japanese male protagonists. Both of these men inherited their fathers’ businesses. Koh (Goro Inagaki) is struggling as a one-man coal manufacturer

Meanwhile,  Mitsuhiko (Kiyohiko Shibukawa) runs his dad’s car dealership. Koh and Mitsuhiko are best friends, but life throws them a wrench when the third man in their squad comes back to their town. That third man is Eisuke (Hiroki Hasegawa), who is now a military veteran who barely leaves his childhood home.

Koh also has struggles at his own home. His meek wife Hatsuno (Chizuru Ikewaki) is starting to speak up, especially about their son Akira (Rairu Sugita). This is probably one of the few things that the movie mishandles. Koh’s home life disappears and reappears throughout the movie inconsistently.

It then returns to its original premise about the friendship of three men in their late thirties. Koh takes it upon himself to make Eisuke open up. He makes the latter work with him at the kiln thinking that work will take his mind off of his post traumatic stress.

Another World has an old world perspective on PTSD but its pacing makes its approach forgivable. That’s true even with the tonal shift that comes with its one and only fight scene. When Koh has Mitsuhiko and Eisuke back in Koh’s life, they make him appreciate what he has in his home.

There’s also a class consciousness here, helping a working class audience proud of who they really are. Its contemplative tone also engenders this appreciation for things that are more temporary than what they seem. And despite its old world views, it’s modern in ways that make it feel grounded.

  • Release Date: 6/8/2019
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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