Saturday, August 29, 2020

Special Actors / スペシャルアクターズ - 2020 Fantasia Movie Review

The Movie: Special Actorsスペシャルアクターズ

The Director: Shin'ichirô Ueda

The Cast: Kazuto Osawa, Hiroki Kono, Takuya Fuji, Ayu Kitaura

The Story: Kazuto has a lifelong dream of becoming an actor, but has been suffering from a special medical condition where he faints and collapses when he gets nervous. Now he has a chance to join a group of actors who have been hired to expose and take down a cult.

The Review:
Special Actors is the latest feature film from Shin'ichirô Ueda, the man responsible for bringing One Cut of the Dead to the world which is one of my absolute favorite movies of the last few years. That very specific sense of fun and joy he brought to that movie is still present here as well as a sort of innocence and humility that he instills into his hero characters. In the lead role, Kazuto Osawa embodies these properties perfectly as he plays a young man who suffers from a condition where he faints when confronted with a stressful situation.

The magic of this movie comes from how Ueda sets up layer upon layer of situations where you are never quite sure if someone is really who they are or if they are playing a role and this continues all the way to the very end. Just like his first film, the director fills the story with so many likable and unique characters with so many little subplots happening and he somehow manages to keep everything on track without any of it ever getting too confusing which I think is because he never really takes any of it too seriously. This movie is all about just having fun with increasingly absurd situations.

An immediate thought when getting ready to watch this movie is whether not it will compare to One Cut of the Dead simply because it has the same director. To me, this is really unfair because One Cut is so fun and so unique and just so magical, it would seem impossible to recreate something that special. The best thing to do it to let this movie stand on its own because it is really good and it is a lot of fun even if it doesn't quite resonate in the same way.

The Verdict:
Special Actors is a really fun movie that will leave you feeling happy and satisfied. If you're looking for something that will just make you happy, this is definitely a movie worth checking out.

Special Actors is an official selection of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2020

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