(2004) dir. Jun Ichikawa
Tony Takitani is adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami, the very popular Japanese writer. I have read a couple of his books and have liked them. So, this seemed like an interesting film to see and it had a pretty decent buzz around it, though it’s moderately obscure, I think.
The film takes an interesting approach, narrating the entirety with voice over. In many shots, the camera is still, often in close up, and the story unwinds in slow-motion almost. It’s paced very slowly and the static narrative qualities limit its range quite a bit. I mean, this approach ties in with the character of Tony Takitani, a man with limited ability to relate to people or even the need to relate to people. There is a simplicity to it that is not wholly unlikeable.
That said, I found it pretentious and boring. A little too in love with the narrative language of the written word and while a decent experiment in cinematic narrative approach, it was stretching it even at only 75 minutes. I feel a little weird criticizing it, since I tend to appreciate non-traditional narratives. This film just didn’t work for me.