Ikinai (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Former assistant director to Takeshi Kitano, Hiroshi Shimizu spins this darkly comic work about a bus, a group of down and out salarimen, and a death wish. Just as the Asian financial crisis struck, a group of white-collar workers up to their eyebrows in debt plot to commit mass suicide so that their families can collect the insurance money. The plan is to go on a three-day bus trip around Okinawa. At the end of the trip, they careen off a cliff instead of piling into a plane bound for home. The ringleader is Niigaki (Dankan), who somberly shepherds the suicidal group through their final three days. Their plan is complicated when perky young lass Mitsuki (Nanako Okochi) -- who has no idea about the bus trip's grim final stop -- substitutes for her uncle. As she warms the hearts of the salarimen, they start of have second thoughts over snuffing it. But with the plan set in motion, can it be stopped?