Search - Face on DVD

Actors: Naomi Fujiyama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Michiyo Ookusu, Riho Makise, Jun Kunimura
Director: Junji Sakamoto
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
UR     2005     2hr 3min

A frumpy seamstress? life takes extraordinary turns after a series of tragic events befall her family, prompting her to become a fugitive


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Movie Details

Actors: Naomi Fujiyama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Michiyo Ookusu, Riho Makise, Jun Kunimura
Director: Junji Sakamoto
Creators: Norimichi Kasamatsu, Junji Sakamoto, Toshihide Fukano, Yukiko Shii, Isamu Uno
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Homevision
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/04/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/2000
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Unpleasant Life Of A Socially Awkward Woman, And Her Life On
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 11/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Directed by Junji Sakamoto, "Face," [aka: "Kao"] is a terrific little film, starring Naomi Fujiyama in the title role. The entire film is filled to the brim with some of the most bizarre and quirky characters you're likely to view, and I found this film to be one of the more interesting MODERN films from Japan. However, this film may not appeal to many viewers. Therefore, rent it first. The films narrative centers primarily on a woman named Masako (Naomi Fujiyama). Masako is a very withdrawn middle aged woman who has never ventured far from the dry cleaner store that her mother owns. As a seamstress her life is one of boredom and isolation. Further, she is not happy with her life, and her younger sister Yukari likes to tease Masako with her own exciting and wild night life, while dismissing her elder sisters life of drudgery. To Yukari; her elder sister is a loser. Plus, Yukari enjoys teasing Masako about her virginity.

The sense of loneliness that Masako is going through is not helped by her sisters constant harassment when she visits the dry cleaner business where Masako lives in a tiny and cramped upstairs room at the family business. Near the breaking point in her life, Masako will finally snap one day when the younger sister is visiting. Following the unexpected death of the mother, Masako's latest interaction with her sister will find her a fugitive from justice. And with this, the film takes the viewer on a strange journey as Masako flees from the authorities. But where is she to go? She knows nothing about the outside world. Deciding to see her father who abandoned the family when she was a child, Masako decides to seek her father out. In her journey she will encounter some of the oddest, meanest, and nicest characters she has ever met.

I really don't know how to classify this film. There are moments of tragedy, dark-comedy, comedy and drama rolled into one: Just as with life itself. The comic elements are especially pronounced when the films soundtrack follows Masako after one of her more bizarre encounters in the film. However, you cannot help feeling sympathy for Masako in her journey to meet the father she hardly knows. There are some very disturbing scenes in the film, as some of the men she encounters are not very nice. One in particular is a lower yakuza named Hiroyuki (Etsushi Toyokawa). There is a disturbing scene with him and Masako regarding a patron of the bar that Horoyuki's sister Ritsuko (Michiyo Ookusu) operates. Kenta (Jun Kunimura) is infatuated with Masako, despite the fact that Masako is overweight and withdrawn. And Kenta will do anything to have sex with her. [Jun Kunimura is an excellent actor, who has been in countless Japanese films, both great and average. Every film I have seen him in he gives outstanding performances. His acting pedigree runs the gamut from "Chaos" "Audition" "Gojoe" "Ichi The Killer" "9 Souls" "Blood and Bones" "Negotiator" and countless other films.]

Wherever Masako goes, she finds it difficult to find lasting peace of mind. And many times when you think she's finally found the right place, the film throws another curve at you, as Masako finds that even more disappointing moments await her in her life. Masako's strange journey in search of solace is a continuous one. Therefore, we see her continually trying to fit in wherever she goes: And as such, whenever disruptions do occur in her life, this causes her to flee for yet another place. Can Masako ever find peace? As the viewer, you find yourself hoping that she will eventually find that elusive peace in her life that she so desperately seeks. Masako attempts to find peace anywhere she can---while at the same time trying to stay one step ahead of the authorities. She finds one man in particular with whom she has a crush on named Ikeda (Koichi Sato), who some may remember as the character Dr. Akiba, in the film "Infection" Will he bring her happiness? Or will there be more disappointments in her life? Moreover, will she ever stop running from the authorities? There are great parts in this film that I do not wish to divulge, as this will ruin the viewing experience for those who have not seen this film. I own the film, but recommend others to rent the film first. Highly recommended. [Stars: 4.5]"