Tuesday, December 18, 2018

In short: Someday, Someone Will Be Killed (1984)

Original title: いつか誰かが殺される

Made in the same year as Fine, With Occasional Murders, and again starring Noriko Watanabe, this one makes an educational contrast with its contemporary film. Someday, directed by Yoichi Sai who would go on to have a pretty interesting career in Japanese and South Korean cinema, is also one of Kadokawa’s cross-media ready films, it’s just much more like you’d expect this sort of thing to actually turn out than Fine, With was.

Structurally and plot-wise, this tale of a young woman (Watanabe) stepping into an espionage conspiracy her father is involved in, is strictly a mess. It is full of pointless scenes like the double musical number consisting of first a pretty dubious piece of Japanese reggae, that is then followed by Watanabe doing things to poor old “Summertime” so horrible, I felt myself waiting for the film playing it as a joke (it didn’t) clearly only in there to hawk other Kadokawa product in the worst possible way. Character arcs never really go anywhere, the plot isn’t really resolved in a dramatic way so much as that it just slowly crawls to a halt, and all the going back and forth by our protagonists is really rather pointless in regards to anything that happens in the plot. On the plus side, the people helping our heroine out are a motley gang of international trademark law offenders, so at least Someday puts a bit of effort into establishing its anti-establishment credentials.

Some parts of the film are clearly meant as something of a bittersweet coming-of-age story for Watanabe’s character, but the script as well as the actress underplay this in a way that robs it of all dramatic and emotional impact; the film’s leaden pacing is no help here, either.

Tonally, this is theoretically more consistent than Fine’s general goofiness (with occasional murders, as promised), alas that tone is so bland this turns out to be a weakness instead of a strength.

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