Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Following up on his critically acclaimed Bounce Ko Gals (1998), director Masato Harada spins this slickly-produced, compelling salary man drama that was a surprise smash hit in Japan. Tapping into the economic malaise and the growing outrage against endless tawdry financial scandals of Japan in the late 1990s, the film follows four middle managers pressing for reform in their corruption-wracked bank. The movie opens with the arrest of a yakuza, who upon interrogation reveals that Asahi Central Bank, a major financial institutional, has been keeping mob coffers full for years. Hoping to restore public confidence, Hiroshi Kitano (played by popular leading man Koji Yakusho) along with his three colleagues petition the board of directors to appoint a reformer as the bank's new president. Their efforts are thwarted both by the irate yakuza, who will not give up their cash cow without a fight, and by venal company superiors -- particularly Sasaki Hideakai (legendary actor Tatsuya Nakadai) who is Kitano's father-in-law. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.