Daiyukai (1991)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy, Satire  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Kihachi Okamoto directs his 37th film with this sweet-natured satire about bungling cops and tax scams. The story opens with an 84-year-old widow and grandmother (Tanie Kitabayashi), who lives in a palatial estate in rural Wakayama prefecture, getting jumped by a trio of bumbling thugs (Toru Kazama, Katsuyoshi Uchida, and Hiroshi Nishikawa) and shoved into their waiting car. Instead of being afraid for her life, she is -- to the chagrin of her would-be captors -- having the time of her life. Soon the strong-willed granny takes command of her own kidnapping, offering the house of her former maid as a hideout and suggesting the amount of the ransom -- ten million yen. Soon the press gets wind of the crime and it soon balloons into a major media event, as the grandmother's four children fret and consult with the police. Ken Ogata also appears as the crime's lead detective and long-time friend of the grandmother.