“Tales of Accidents and Other Fantasies”, portraits of women in three variations

DIn the car carrying them, Tsugumi and Meiko are talking. Especially Tsugumi, who met a man with whom she said she had a magical evening. Her best friend listens, nods, comments, laughs. Then, when Tsugumi arrives at her house, instead of continuing on her way as expected, Meiko asks the driver to return. The break from the narrative is the leverage of these three stories that make up Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest film. Three…

DIn the car carrying them, Tsugumi and Meiko are talking. Especially Tsugumi, who met a man with whom she said she had a magical evening. Her best friend listens, nods, comments, laughs. Then, when Tsugumi arrives at her house, instead of continuing on her way as expected, Meiko asks the driver to return. The break from the narrative is the lever of these three stories that make up Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest film. Three little stories that relate to the universe of Eric Rohmer, which the Japanese director willingly claims. As with the French director, the words are actually at the center of these polished fictions with such perfect balance that they are admired. Nothing special happens, but every time it’s a hurricane. And echoing inner passions, the word accompanies the storm.

A happy storm or an unlucky one, it all depends on the road full of turmoil, between which one must navigate. Ryusuke Hamaguchi women have a pronounced temperament, but they are just like everyone else, they do their best, try to be in tune with who they were, and often silence their most violent outbursts.

dream passion

They are still young and charming, having gone through their first love and first disappointments, and still can happen. Just like Tsugumi, who prepares for the passion of a dream, not knowing what she is disguising, like Aya and Natsuko, who, in the last and perhaps most beautiful fairy tale, recognize each other. They were in the same high school, and who cares if they don’t remember anything. moreover, they were the same things, they shared the emotions experienced at this age.

He pushes his heroines with a grace that never excludes either the complexity of souls or their fantasy.

Twenty years have passed, one of the two moved to Tokyo, and on the escalator where the ascent and descent intersect, it is enough to plunge into the past once face to face. But existence is punctuated by misunderstandings that we seek to feed without even realizing it, and memory betrays even dearest memories. Resources are still needed to prevent event traps and turn an absurd momentum into a miraculous coincidence. This is where Ryusuke Hamaguchi is a formidable moralist in the broadest sense of the word: he observes, imagines, reconstructs and extracts from every situation the finest, most subtle, most instructive thread.

He can be cruel too. In the second tale, Nao becomes the victim of a twisted adventure. Although the word prey is inappropriate, because here everyone reaps what they sow. The irony of life and its whims add their salt, but whatever their trajectories, the characters are the only ones who fall or escape the traps that arise.

The most secret flaws

A few years ago, Nao was a brilliant student. One of her professors taught French, and this man, whom she considered old and wrinkled, had just won a literary prize. He wrote a beautiful novel in which a particularly erotic passage addresses a young woman. She will see him. He has not forgotten her and agrees to dedicate his book to her. That’s when Nao starts read aloud. In the quiet of the office, we have every opportunity to hear the passage in question. The story does not end there, and nothing will be said about his fall. It’s not for nothing that it’s called “The Open Door”. The whole game will be for Nao to close the office door that the professor wants to leave open. Before a terrible epilogue, which shows that our projects sometimes turn against us, driven by our own impulses.

In a heartbreaking but easy variation on luck, Ruyuk Hamaguchi succeeds reveal our most secret flaws. Wounds of love and self-respect. The wounds are buried but still painful. In his previous feature film Drive My Car, he filmed a grieving artist trying to resume his journey as a living person through winding and ultimately gleaming detours. This time he pushes his heroines down the sentimental paths where they struggle, and he does so with a grace that never precludes either the complexity of souls or their fantasy. The origami of their lives eventually unfolds. Time to see happiness or something like it.

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