Director: Satoshi Miki
Cast: Kazuya Kamenashi, Yuki Uchida
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Rating: PG13 (Brief Nudity)
Released By: Encore Films
Official Website: http://www.encorefilms.com/itsme/
Opening Day: 24 October 2013
Synopsis: A casual scam triggers a surreal series of events, which turns everyone into “ME,” who eventually turns on each other. Hitoshi, who is at ﬁrst disoriented in the world that is inhabited by so many Hitoshis, yet unexpectedly finds the uncomplicated relationships among “himselves” quite comfortable.
Ever thought that there is too little time and too much to do? What if there are more copies of ‘yourself’?
‘It’s Me It’s Me’ is a movie adapted from an award winning Japanese novel of the same name centering the protagonist Hitoshi (played by Kamenashi Kazuya). Hitoshi, a failed photographer turned electronic sales assistant wanted a break out of his mundane life. It took a drastic change from when he picked up a phone from a fast food restaurant. What at first appeared to be a harmless phone scam turned out to be disastrous in many sense. Copies of Hiroshi began to show up and began to threaten the existence of the ‘original’ Hiroshi…
Directed by veteran variety program director Miki Satoshi, ‘It’s Me It’s Me’ is slightly offbeat the usual comedy that we see. Instead, it is touted as a ‘suspenseful comedy’ in the movie’s Japanese catch copy. Definitely living up to that, the movie hooks the viewer in suspense as the purpose and identities of the copies of Hitoshi began to complicate and make a mess out of his life. At the same time, it maintains the comedy from drawing comparisons of the distinctly different yet similar copies of Hiroshi.
Undoubtedly, the greatest draw of the movie is to watch how an actor transform into 33 characters but retain the ‘original’. It is probably one of the most challenging roles Kamenashi Kazuya has till date, and it was truly impressive to see how he manages to bring out the ‘sameness’ of the characters but was also able to work on the intricacy of the characters to bring out the distinct differences in look and behavior. In particular, the scene where the ‘triplets’ met up at a small apartment was exceptionally impressionable. The director worked this scene nicely to put all focus on the ‘Hitoshis’, where one can observe clearly Hitoshis’ way of eating and their small habits. They were totally in sync and worked to perfection owing to the efforts of both the director and actor.
Supporting actor Kase Ryo also proved to be one of the most versatile actors around through this movie. Whether it is taking on a more emotional character from Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) or the hot headed policeman in SPEC (2012), or the self-absorbed head of department in ‘It’s Me It’s Me’, Ryo seemed to deliver convincing performance of these roles effortlessly. His support role in this movie was definitely a value-add entertainment wise.
‘It’s Me It’s Me’ is nothing short of surprises; an unorthodox modern fantasy. It gives a great room for imagination for the viewers which can be intriguing to some but frustrating for others. It also took an unusual approach to explore the theme on personal identityand puts one to thinking which is the ‘real me’? Is it how people see me or how I believe myself to be? In trying to arrive at a conclusion, it’s a pity that the movie got slightly rushed towards the end. Nonetheless, it was a fairly good resolution albeit a different one from the original novel.
(One of a kind suspense comedy that grapples with the theme of personal identity. Which is the real ‘me’?)
Review by Tho Shu Ling