Das Glücksrad – Wheel of fortune and fantasy

A Film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi. In Japanese with German subtitles.

[Credits] [Tickets & Termine] [Trailer]

As with the rest of his oeu­vre, dupli­ca­ti­on and mir­ro­ring of fema­le cha­rac­ters once again informs Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s latest work, Guzen to sozo. It would not be out of place to make a lite­ra­ry ana­lo­gy and, if one were to regard his two pre­vious films (Happy Hour and Asako I & II) as novels, this new work could be descri­bed as a coll­ec­tion of short sto­ries. The film’s recur­ring rhythm ampli­fies this effect. The three epi­so­des, which each revol­ve around a woman, are in turn divi­ded into three move­ments, like a pie­ce of music. They tell sto­ries of an unex­pec­ted love tri­ang­le, a fai­led seduc­tion trap, and an encoun­ter that results from a misun­derstan­ding. The frag­men­ta­ti­on ser­ves to empha­sise rather than under­mi­ne the exqui­si­te­ly orga­nic sto­rytel­ling and mise en scè­ne. Although most of the action takes place in a sin­gle space and invol­ves just two actors, not once does it feel like film­ed theat­re. The secret lies not only in the wri­ting, but also in the noti­on of a more com­plex tem­po­ra­li­ty in each epi­so­de that flirts with sci­ence fic­tion in the final inst­al­ment. The moments we wit­ness are crystal­li­sed into tou­ch­ing uni­ver­sal desti­nies mark­ed by choices, reg­rets, decep­ti­on and coin­ci­den­ces. They are the film’s true protagonists.


JP 2021, 121 Min., jap. OmU
Regie & Schnitt: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Kamera: Yukiko Iioka
Kotone Furukawa, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Katsuki Mori, Fusako Urabe, Aoba Kawai, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri, Shouma Kai

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