Kaza-Hana (2000)

Run Time - 116 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Veteran filmmaker Shinji Somai spins this melodrama about an unlikely couple blithely courting their own destruction. Famed pop star Kyoko Koizumi -- also known by her nickname Kyon Kyon -- plays Yuriko, Tokyo pink-salon hostess who after years of sticky fumbling in darkened booths is reaching the end of her tether. One day, she wakes up under a cherry tree with her salaryman client from the night before. Though she is irritated that he does not remember a thing about the previous night, she is curiously attracted to the guy. An elite bureaucrat in the powerful and prestigious Ministry of Education, Renji Sawaki (Tadanobu Asano) has long since given up caring for the career mobility or for his long-suffering girlfriend (Kumiko Asou); instead, he seems to be willfully slumping headlong into oblivion. This lust for the abyss attracts Yuriko on levels that she can't fully understand, but she soon realizes that she wants a change and she wants him to come along. The change she has in mind is a trip to Hokkaido to see her daughter. Will love bloom, or will their respective death wishes take the day? This film was screened at the 2000 Toronto Film Festival.