» » Akarui mirai (2002)

Akarui mirai (2002) Online

Akarui mirai (2002) Online
Original Title :
Akarui mirai
Genre :
Movie / Drama
Year :
2002
Directror :
Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast :
Joe Odagiri,Tadanobu Asano,Tatsuya Fuji
Writer :
Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Budget :
$1,200,000
Type :
Movie
Time :
1h 55min
Rating :
6.9/10
Akarui mirai (2002) Online

Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants). Their weird bond is based on uncontrollable rage--something neither can articulate or control--and the strange jellyfish that they keep as a pet. {locallinks-homepage}
Credited cast:
Joe Odagiri Joe Odagiri - Yûji Nimura
Tadanobu Asano Tadanobu Asano - Mamoru Arita
Tatsuya Fuji Tatsuya Fuji - Shin'ichirô Arita
Sayuri Oyamada Sayuri Oyamada - Miho Nimura
Takashi Sasano Takashi Sasano - Mr. Fujiwara
Marumi Shiraishi Marumi Shiraishi - Mrs. Fujiwara
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hanawa Hanawa - Ken Takagi
Hideyuki Kasahara Hideyuki Kasahara - Shin
Ryo Kase Ryo Kase - Fuyuki Arita (as Ryô Kase)
Miyako Kawahara Miyako Kawahara
Chiaki Kominami Chiaki Kominami - Kaori Fujiwara
Ken'ichi Matsuyama Ken'ichi Matsuyama - Jun
Yutaka Mishima Yutaka Mishima - A man who buy a box lunch
Yoshiyuki Morishita Yoshiyuki Morishita - Mori
Ryô Ryô - Lawyer

The large group of jellyfish in the Tokyo River was filmed in an aquarium and digitally added to the film.


User reviews

Mr Freeman

Mr Freeman

Many viewers look at Bright Future and throw up their hands in confusion, even those who admire Kurosawa's style. I've thought a lot about this movie and I don't think its intentions are that obscure, though I confess it can be inaccessible. It's just that Kurosawa's approach is VERY contrary to how Westerners understand film.

Bright Future examines the disillusionment of Japanese youth towards their parents' generation, and, in turn, their parents' feelings of failure towards their children. Throughout, a poisonous red jellyfish symbolizes disaffected youth, drifting along silently, not threatening unless you cross their path.

Namura and Arita are two 20-somethings working at an industrial laundry. Namura is apathy itself. He cherishes his dreams of a "bright future," but in his daily life, he barely registers much more than a blank stare. He's such a loser he even sucks at his few hobbies; the one time he goes out to an arcade with his upwardly-mobile sister and her yuppie boyfriend, the boyfriend casually kicks Namura's ass at games Namura plays constantly. On his lone trips to a nearby bowling alley, Namura rolls mostly gutters.

Arita, Namura's only friend, is more mysterious, with a placid surface underneath which lurks hints of menace. Arita's sole hobby is the care of his pet jellyfish, which he is trying to acclimate to fresh water.

Arita gives the clueless Namura hand signals (thumb inward means "wait," finger pointing means "go ahead") so he'll avoid doing anything "crazy." Namura isn't sure what to make of this, but we get hints Arita is more in tune with prevailing moods. "There's a storm coming," he says ominously.

The boys' boss at the laundry lamely attempts to court their friendship, borrowing a CD from Namura and popping up uninvited at Arita's apartment. There he goes into a pathetic speech about "When I was your age...", but loses his train of thought and gets caught up watching cable. Namura and Arita view this middle-aged boy-man with barely concealed contempt; you can tell they're thinking, "God, is this what I have to look forward to when I'm 55?" When the boss sticks his fingers in the jellyfish tank, Arita stops Namura from warning him about the poison.

The boss, when he learns what could have happened, confronts Arita, who quits his job the next day. The boss remains friendly to Namura, throwing the socially inept young man into further confusion. That night, Namura angrily goes to the boss's house to get his CD, only to find Arita has been there earlier and murdered the man and his wife.

Arita is arrested but makes no particular attempt at a defense. In jail, he cordially (but not warmly) greets his estranged father, and only wants to talk about his jellyfish to Namura, in whom he has entrusted its care. But when Namura, in a rare emotional outburst, declares he will "wait 20 years" for Arita's release, Arita coldly snubs him. Now even more bereft and confused, Namura angrily smashes the jellyfish tank, inadvertently releasing it into the city canals.

Not long after, Arita hangs himself in his cell, his hand wired into the "go ahead" signal. Namura regrets his rashness, and is overjoyed to find the jellyfish still alive. He also strikes up a bond with Arita's father, who makes a meager living salvaging discarded appliances (a metaphor for pointlessly hanging onto the past). The father, who hadn't seen Arita for 5 years before the murders, and who is held in such disdain by his one other son that the boy has taken his mother's last name, sees in Namura the chance for a real father-son relationship.

I've concluded that we're supposed to see Arita and Namura as two different incarnations of the same person. This interpretation would be consistent with Kurosawa's follow-up, Doppelgänger, whose hero confronts an arrogant and violent duplicate of himself. Bright Future's script hints that Kurosawa may have intended this:

At one point Namura says he thinks Arita killed the boss "before I could do it"; indeed, right before Namura goes to the house, we see him grab a metal pipe off the street and swing it in wild unfocused rage. In another scene, we see Arita's ghost(?) watching his father and Namura. Also, the way Arita's father cherishes his bond with Namura; a reconciliation after an argument they have plays like the father is really forgiving Arita and his other son for abandoning him (especially the father's line "I forgive all of you for everything"). Finally, Arita's rejection of Namura when Namura declares he'll wait for him in prison; if Arita is really Namura's "evil doppelgänger," then the rejection makes good thematic sense. It's Arita's way of saying, "You idiot, don't you know that as long as you hang onto me, you'll always be a loser?"

So is Arita the violent, acting-out side of Namura's personality made flesh, who, once he commits the crime Namura fantasizes about, feels it's time to give Namura the "go ahead" signal and bow out? An intriguing possibility, and one certainly in keeping with Kurosawa's magical realist approach.

The final scenes, in which Namura — saying "I got my go-ahead signal long ago" — finally decides to stop drifting aimlessly (like the jellyfish in the tank) and set himself towards the "bright future" he used to dream of (like the loose jellyfish, now "escaping" from Tokyo and drifting toward the sea), brings the movie's theme full circle. The climactic shot of hordes of glowing jellyfish floating down a canal is a truly stunning image. (And one thematically underscored by its juxtaposition with the very last shot, of a gang of kids Namura briefly falls in with, drifting aimlessly down the sidewalk to nowhere in particular.) The title turns out to be not ironic at all. The young can have a bright future, but sometimes, you have to know when to wait, and when to go ahead.
generation of new

generation of new

I think this is not an easy film to grasp. Someone may well hate or disgust it, until he grasps what Mamoru represents and what is the theme of this movie.He doesn't look human at all. He never shows real emotion nor intention. So what is he? Is he a pure evil, or a ghost as in fact came back later in the movie? One way to understand him is not to see him as a real figure, but as question, question from the director Kurosawa. The question is double question. One is to the older generation, which is; Can you accept him and his generation? Another question is to the younger generation, which is; What do you do in the absence of an idealistic and convenient advocator like Mamoru?

In the case of the two, Yuji(Nimura) and Mamoru's father, things went well.They found them understandable and lovable. But, as known from the dialog of Mamoru's father, "I forgive you, I forgive you all," this is a question to all the individuals, younger or older.

Can we really accept the young so dangerous and sensitive like a jelly fish? Can we love them so much as to reach for them? Or, as a young, can we understand the elder so selfish and ugly but sometime has real love for the young?

What's implied in this movie is that the chances for the recovery of the relationship between two gegerations are still left and that the strragle goes on to forever.
Beahelm

Beahelm

I can see the maddeningly inscrutable "Bright Future" serving as the subject for some poor film school student's dissertation in a course entitled "The Use of Enigma and Symbolism in Post-Modernist Cinema" or (if you prefer the vernacular) "What the Heck Was That Film All About Anyway?" For I am absolutely convinced that one could spend a full semester - at the very least - trying to fathom the various levels of meaning in this film and never come up with a thoroughly satisfactory answer at the end of that search. And here I've always thought Ingmar Bergman movies were a challenge!

Shot through with heavy doses of allegory and Magic Realism, "Bright Future" tells the story of a sullen, moody young man named Yuji, who works at a dull factory job with his close buddy, Mamoru. The latter owns a deadly Red Jellyfish that he keeps in a little tank at home. One day, he gives the jellyfish as a present to Yuji, telling him that he has decided to quit the job and move on to bigger and better things. But instead of doing that, Mamoru murders the boss and the boss' wife, with little or no explanation given as to motive. Mamoru is immediately arrested and charged with first degree murder. Meanwhile, in a fit of despair, Yuji turns over the tank, only to have the jellyfish slide through the cracks of the floor and somehow land in the Tokyo water system, where it miraculously proliferates to the point where the area is literally inundated with freshwater killer jellyfish. While all this is going on, Yuji begins to develop a close but tentative bond with Mamoru's father, who was pretty much estranged from his son before the murder. As Yuji gets more and more obsessed with finding the elusive jellyfish, he seems, paradoxically, to be coming to a greater sense of reality. Well, there's the "plot" in a nutshell; now it's your turn to try to figure it all out.

If none of this makes any sense to you, don't feel bad because it doesn't make any sense to me either. The best I can make of it is that Yuji is intended to represent the younger generation in modern day Japan - disconnected, rudderless, utterly lacking in motivation, purpose and goals, and prone to act out of ill-defined impulse rather than rationality and logic. And somehow, by committing the murder that Yuji is actually intending to do (though here again, we are given no preparation or motive to explain WHY he would do so), Mamoru sacrifices himself so that Yuji can be saved from his own spiritual ennui and set on the path towards a meaningful life, primarily by caring for this jellyfish, which is itself a symbol of tenacity and beauty.

Or perhaps not….

Despite the fact that the film will probably have you pulling your hair out in bewilderment and frustration, "Bright Future," for all its self-conscious pretentiousness, is actually a fairly intriguing film just on the level of its visuals and the relationships it develops among the various characters. It's very well directed and very well acted, and if you can get beyond the symbol-gazing, you may actually find yourself mesmerized by the experience.

And I will be expecting those dissertations on my desk bright and early tomorrow morning.
Grillador

Grillador

Kyoshi Kurosawa is becoming one of my favorite current filmmakers, and the further he gets from conventional horror and shock, the better I think he is.

Deeper meanings mingle with absurdist humor, and the kind of chance occurrences that enliven the fiction of Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami also figure heavily in Kurosawa's films; cinematically, everything from Lynch or Fellini to Don Siegel can be a touchstone for further exploration.

BRIGHT FUTURE is like an improved CHARISMA - more refined, less loony, and considerably more poetic, but K Kurosawa's many concerns - trashing of the environment, a sense of depersonalization (and discreet nihilism) in younger/future generations, the erosion of a society's cohesiveness (especially when that erosion originates within, and not from some external source) - are handled very well - the last shot offers his darkest humor, with the cross-generational understanding becoming something quietly heroic evoking certain past masters of Japanese film. A sense that - if younger generations have drifted towards a nihilism that could destroy them or you, it is balanced by an equally withering take on the older generations that somehow let them down; this film in many ways visualizes the idea of getting over it, and moving on with life (after presenting some of the consequences for not doing so).

Tadanobu Asano's presence here is somewhat hyped (definitely on the DVD cover), undoubtedly due to his ascendant global stardom, but his performance is eclipsed by co-stars Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji, who both deliver dynamic performances of great range and control.

Mysterious, poetic, open to many interpretations, and one of Kyoshi Kurosawa's finest.
Samuhn

Samuhn

The high vote I gave this movie is partly relative--there just isn't much on the shelves these days that isn't tiresome (so I tend to gravitate towards anything that isn't a sequel or remake). So if this film is guilty of anything, it's guilty of being delicate and intelligent. The characters are so subtle they almost escape one's grasp but this isn't a loss and shouldn't deter anyone from watching it. I enjoy thinking back on it now and pondering Yuji, the main character, and his relation to the jellyfish.

It is also worthy to note that the visuals aren't overly stylized--they were incredibly detailed and balanced. I liked that I felt increasingly familiar with their world the further the movie went. That must have been very hard to pull off since most movies that re-use scenery like that turn out repetitious. The backgrounds here seem lived in, and judging from the part of the behind-the-scenes that I watched it was filmed in realistic locations.

Asano is interesting in this one, not that he usually isn't, but his character seemed far more complex than I expected with each new line of dialog. This movie and the careful construction was so nicely stacked like a house of cards I was almost afraid to breathe in case I would miss something.
Cordann

Cordann

1. spend over $100M on FX & CGI & wait til all the 20-sumdings come and say "Wow, those Martians were killer" or "I loved the fight between the ape and the T Rexs" or "Boy, I felt like that was me shooting those spiders", etc etc etc.

2. keep your film void of any sensible plot. have your characters talk utter nonsense. extra points if they mumble constantly. keep it moving at a glacier's pace. don't spend anything on FX or CGI. make it seem as if something deep might be in the air. wait for the film school dropouts to get a break from Mickey D's. they'll come on to interpret the film for the great un-degreed. i guess it makes them feel like the two years was worth something.
Alsantrius

Alsantrius

Bright Future, another recent dark film from the great Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, focuses on working class folks whose future is anything but bright. The irony of the title is pounded home in scene after scene. Yuji and Mamoru, friends in their 20s who work at the same boring job in the same dull warehouse, are both frustrated with their lives. But there is a big difference.

While Mamoru looks around carefully and gives Yuji knowing glances, and tells Yuji when to Wait and when to Go Ahead (capital letters used on purpose), Yuji is content to live in his dreams in which, he says in a voice-over, he sees himself as having a bright future. Mamoru has a pet poisonous jellyfish, which he bequeaths to Yuji when something terrible happens and Mamoru lands in prison.

Their boss, a man of 55, is just as frustrated with his boring existence as his two workers, and Mamoru's father is, as well, a man who labors at a thankless job that keeps him confined to a small space; he fixes broken appliances in a salvage shop.

When the jellyfish escapes from Yuji, he panics, then relaxes when he realizes that it is, in essence, following him wherever he goes. Kurosawa always fuses fantasy with reality in his films and this one is no exception. Although an obvious symbol for escape from a humdrum existence, the jellyfish turns out to be something more than that as well. This is brought home later in the film when we see a flotilla of the things moving out to sea in the Tokyo canal...

KK, as I like to call him--to distinguish him from Akira Kurosawa--makes films like no one else today. It's easy and at the same time intriguing to read into his films more than what we see and chances are that the added meanings we find are right. I think we know this because his films resonate long after leaving the theater; the layers of meaning we find in them continue to make themselves apparent without much effort at all.

Bright Future is a film about significantly more than people who spend their time, their lives in futile activity. It's about whether or not we think about how to live our lives, about whether we value the time that we have, or how we value it, if we do at all. It's about how we try to move beyond what we have and how that usually fails. It's a sad film but one that upon reflection makes us think that maybe there is, after all, a chance for a bright future. Or maybe not.
Elastic Skunk

Elastic Skunk

Bright Future is about a plot to populate the sewers of Tokyo with a glowing, poisonous jellyfish. So far, so good. There aren't too many movies about plots to populate the sewers of Tokyo with glowing, poisonous jellyfish that I know about. Although the movie has much to commend it, it is ultimately frustrating because characters are constantly doing things not because they make sense but because the filmmaker wants them to in order to advance the plot. Also, the movie has no real ending; it just….ends.

On the one hand, you might say that the movie doesn't have to make sense because it follows a dream logic and dreams don't always make sense. However, the best movies that follow a dream logic, such as Bunuel's The Exterminating Angel, have an internal consistency. Actions make sense within the context of the movie. Also, The Exterminating Angel has one of the best endings in all of cinema.

I liked the themes of Bright Future: loneliness, alienation, lack of connection between the generations. I also liked the poisonous jellyfish as a metaphor for disaffected, violent teenagers and 20-somethings. However, I had the feeling that the filmmaker wrote himself into a corner and didn't know how to get out of it. Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami does this with his novels. He starts a novel not knowing where it's going but then eventually has to end it, which he almost always does in an unsatisfying manner.

Nevertheless, I keep reading Murakami novels and I'm going to seek out other films by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Maybe some day all the ingredients will fall into place and he'll make a masterpiece.
riki

riki

In Tokyo, the dysfunctional friends Nimura (Jô Odagiri) and Mamoru (Tadanobu Asano) work in a laundry of towels in part time. Nimura sees a bright future only in dreams, and Mamoru is adapting a venom jellyfish in fresh water. Their boss likes them and gives a bonus and proposes a full time work for them. Mamoru kills the boss's family in a attack of rage without any reason and he is sentenced to death. Nimura keeps the jellyfish and releases it in a canal of Tokyo. Meanwhile, Mamoru's father comes to Tokyo for the funeral of his son, and Nimura stays with him, while the jellyfishes threatens the population of Tokyo.

I bought the American DVD "Bright Future" full of expectations of an intriguing movie, based on the recommendation on the cover to fans of David Lynch and Luis Buñuel. The person that wrote this remark must be kidding! It is ridiculous the comparison of this senseless, pretentious and boring mess with the films of these two great directors. Just because the story does not make any sense, it does not mean that we, fans of David Lynch and Luis Buñuel, will enjoy any crap. In the end, I have never reach the target where director Kyioshi Kurosawa aimed and I found this flick a pure waste of time and money. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): Not Available
Usaxma

Usaxma

Akarui Mirai has a lot going for it. Somewhere in the mess of metaphor and "art for art's sake" is a good story with a strong message and good images. Unfortunately things get typically nonsensical with the lesser Kurosawa behind the camera. Ok, that's harsh, but why can't this guy find a way to tell his story coherently AND make use of the positive aspects of his style. I like art-house movies, I like esoteric Japanese dramas, I like quirky filmmaking, but I don't like this movie. It's the type of movie I dislike most in fact, it's a badly made film pretending to be a good one. I trusted it, and it basically took me for a ride to nowhere and left me there.

I admit, the movie has it's moments, the lyrical beauty of the Jellyfish, one of the movie's most powerful images, are wonderful. The performance of the leads is good. There's some humor sprinkled here and there, but for what reason? I couldn't read the tone of the movie... Is this a fariytale? Is it a drama? There's just so much jammed onto that screen, and yet nothing. It's basically a bunch of nice ideas, presented in an incredibly lifeless manner. I can't imagine who would find any of this fulfilling?
Ka

Ka

To me, this film seemed to be harshly critical of the youth of Japan. There are distinct parallels between the deadly Jellyfish, and the destructive kids in their Che Guevara shirts. In this film, I believe Kiyoshi Kurosawa may be making the statement that young people in Japan are becoming as passive and destructive as Jellyfish.

If you are not used to slow pacing in films, you may not like this movie, or Kiyoshi Kurosawa's other work for that matter, (or many Japanese films). But if you allow yourself to be immersed in the dreamlike qualities of the film, and pay close attention to its symbols and their underlying social message, you may get something out of the experience.

Also, the film's final shot is amazing, mysterious, elegiac, and a bunch of other good adjectives. If you like this film, you should also see the same director's "Charisma."
Gaeuney

Gaeuney

((Small Spoiler))

Bright Future may be hard movie to understand...but not really so if u think of what future and dream, two main themes in the movie, mean to those who doesn't know what to hold on to anymore. Teenagers everywhere will have to rethink about there future once they realize that their dreams might not become true, may be not even close. Also, many old people will have to rethink about their future once they realize that they are alone with no one to share or continue their dreams. I think this movie try to portrait the complex feelings and relationship between these 2 groups of people...their loneliness, their longing for something, or better, somoeone to hold on to. Jellyfish are like teenagers who are jailed in the society they don't belong to...the society try to shape them to fit in with what the society expect from them, just like when Mamoru and Nimura try to make the jellyfish survive in normal water, but their success lasts only for a short time. Those teenagers will only become venomous to the society (like d jellyfish) if they cannot find the place where they belong (in the case of the jellyfish, the sea). They will have to realize that although their dreams might not come true but they can have a bright future if they come to face the reality and try to find their place in the world.

All the deep messages in this film blend perfectly with the beautiful and haunting art directing; the image of the jellyfish are the perfect representative of loneliness and venomousity that lie within every lost teenagers (those who's still in between childhood and adulthood). All the casts played their role with hearts...and that make we care for all of them. Kurosawa has, once again, crafted an art for those who can look beyond the film's superficial beauty to understand its philosophical core. His script might be too open-ended with not enough explanations to satisfy every viewers, but that's also the beauty of it; everyone will at least got some messages from the graphical impact and in the end they can interpret the movie anyway they like. The final scenes in the movie, the image of teenagers walking in the street is no different from the jellyfish swimming in Tokyo's canal, some of them will sting innocent people who came in their ways, but I think Kurosawa, as he has most of those jellyfish find their way to the sea, hope that most of them will be able to find their bright future, eventhough it might be different from what they dreamed.
Nakora

Nakora

Whatever Kiyoshi Kurosawa is to the Japanese audience, for Americans he's distinctly an acquired taste. "Cure "struck me immediately however as haunting, creepy, and drably beautiful; it's just that one can't imagine a steady diet of such stuff. "Pulse", typically stylish and moody, is completely different (and too similar to the "Ringu" franchise), but the only other Kurosawa I've seen so far, "Bright Future," is something else again. Symbolic interpretations of the two aimless, dangerous boys as some kind of statement about Japan's youth seem simple-minded and naive, though surely the ironic title makes that possibility all too obvious. Anyway, the presence of young people both does and does not mean anything in Kurosawa's films. He works very loosely within genres that appeal to youth, but his approach is consistently indirect and enigmatic. What strikes me is the relationship between Nimura and Mamoru--roommates and buddies on the surface, but underneath slave and master, follower and sensei, or symbiotic zombie couple. Their lack of affect turns modern Japanese youth on its head because they're quietly terrifying and somehow also super cool, Nimura's ragged clothing a radical fashion statement and his wild hair and sculptured looks worthy of a fashion model.Mr Fujiwara is the ultimate bourgeois clueless work buddy jerk (he combines two or three different kinds of undesirable associate); but we don't usually kill them. Kurosawa films seem to usually go in the direction of some kind of muted apocalypse, but they proceed toward it casually, as if he didn't quite care where things were going.

That's because the atmosphere and look of his films are the real subjects; like any great filmmaker he begins and ends with image and sound. Note the bland, cheerful music that pops up at the darnedest places. The relationship that develops between Nimura and Shin'ichirô, Mamoru's father after Mamoru is no more, and the scenes of Shin'ichirô's cluttered yet desolate workshop/dwelling recall Akira Kurosawa's Dodeskaden but also Italian neorealism and the clan of directionless but uniformed young bad boys who wander through the street in the long final tracking shot evokes Antonioni and the mute clowns in Blow-Up. Kiyoshi Kurosawa's framing, his use of empty urban long shots, is akin to the vision of Antonioni. If it's true that this cool stuff is all too appealing to film school dropouts ready to concoct a deep interpretation of every aimless sequence, it's also true that Kurosawa like no other living director creates his own haunting and disturbing moods, and it would be fun to compare this movie with Bong Joon-ho's boisterous "The Host."

Really an 8.5 at least, for originality.
Tall

Tall

Akarui mirai is a film that has one theme, despair. We see a Japanese society that offers little in the way of hope, prosperity, fun or happiness. A chance for a bright future is denied to the young and has already passed up the old. Our two main characters live lives that are pointless and dull. Our protagonist momentarily feels that at least he can claim being good as arcade games as an accomplishment, but soon sees that he is not even good at that. The two soon see that even their "successful" boss, who has a wife and child, has no life worth celebrating or enjoying. Such despair will cause one of the two friends to give up on a bright future and one to make one last attempt at finding hope for that bright future, but sadly, it appears very doubtful that that bright future will come.
Prince Persie

Prince Persie

"Bright Future (Akarui mirai)" feels very much like a Sam Shephard play, with its themes of stifling fathers and rebelling sons and sibling responsibility between brothers, all suffused with irrational violence.

There's even a continuing leitmotif of a cowboy Western musical riff when magic realism takes over from the unrelieved quotidian of men who work with the detritus of an almost post-apocalyptic-seeming society, from a laundry to an appliance recycling workshop, and condescended to by their biological and putative family members with more money and much nicer apartments.

The characters seem to need to strike out with either Raskolnikov-ian or manipulative acts of violence as existential acts to affect their environment ("acclimating to Tokyo" is how one character metaphorically puts it) to be sure they're alive or having an impact on the living.

The main characters, well-matched by Tadanobu Asano as the scarily manipulative brother figure and Jô Odagiri as his even more depressed acolyte, are so alienated that the rigid others around them assume they are developmentally disabled.

I'm quite sure I didn't get anywhere near all the Goddard-ian symbolism, from the production design of the characters' seedy living arrangements to the phosphorescent beauty of poisonous jellyfish, which are used beyond the frogs in "Magnolia" in entrancing and haunting images like Conrad's fascination of the abomination.

The conclusion seems hopeless in a clouded fade into "A Clockwork Orange"-like, thrill-seeking gang of aimless young men wearing Che T-shirts, with a brightly hypocritical pop song about the future playing on the soundtrack.

I never knew that Tokyo had so many interesting bridges and canals.

I haven't seen any other films written or directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa to know if I just saw a bad print or if the washed out, almost black-and-white, fuzzy digital-video-seeming look was intentional.
Tar

Tar

Yes, this movie is very beautiful because of its image especially when you see the movements of the jellyfish(es), very colourful and calm. There is a lot of philosophy (intelligence, meaning - call it the way you like it) in the whole movie. BUT (yes there's always a "but") I didn't like that. I think the movie tries to force to be unique/special which it isn't. There were a lot of things I haven't understood in that movie. Of course you can think now that I'm stupid or so. Because I don't want to spoil anything I'll describe it like that - there were many things (especially at the beginning and at the end) which aren't explained any deeper and after the movie I thought "hmm...what was it about?". Also the people's personality, relationship, their past, ... etc. - no real hints for them.

So in the end I think only people who love Kurosawa's (I don't mean Akira Kurosawa) movies should watch it, also people who like this calm and deep philosophy which you have to explain yourself and Asian movie junkies who watch every damn movie just because it's Asian (like me), too.
Blackstalker

Blackstalker

They don't want to grow up...neither did I (do I). Growing up is tough: loss, alienation, angst. Bright Future highlights the fear of growing older, finding a direction for your life and incurring responsibility. One major plus to Bright Future is the amazing cast and all around good performances. Joe Odagiri as the lead, Yuji, turns in a very entertaining and heartfelt performance, alongside Japanese film heavyweight, Tadanobu Asano, and possibly the most exciting casting decision is Tatsuya Fuji, whose work with Nagisa Oshima in the late-70s with a Japanese essential, Empire of Passion and by far the most famous, or infamous, was Fuji's iconic role as Kichizo Ishida the insatiable lover of early 20th century true crime celebrity Sada Abe, in the highly erotic (rated X), politically tinged, twisted love/obsession story, In the Realm of the Senses. All of this withstanding, there is no kidding anyone; this is not Kiyoshi Kurosawa's best, but certainly an interesting film that you can get more out of than you originally think you can. If you peel back the layers there is more there than beautiful red CGI jellyfish.
Manemanu

Manemanu

Nomura practically does not speak, in fact he could be an idiot. Mamoru seems to live in a constant and intense reflection. They both work in a oushibori factory, where the warm and humid towels given to clients at sushi restaurants are made. When not at work, they spend time playing video games or at the bowling room. Nomura admires the jellyfish that floats in Mamoru's fish tank; in his head, Mamoru can't stop thinking about his plan. They live in Tokyo, from which the spectator only sees trash, recycling material and ageless objects. Once, their boss is interested for both friends; he visits them, speaks with them about their youth. Some time after, Mamoru kills him with the rest of his family. In prison, facing death penalty, he receives the visit from his father, who he hasn't seen in years. The old man repairs old televisions and radios that finds in garbage deposits. It's been a long time since the father gave up to any contact with the world and its social ambitions. This is when Mamoru, quiet and manipulator, sets up the last part of his plan. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the director of Bright Future,is one of Japan's most ambitious contemporary filmmakers, his work seeks to change the classic forms of cinematography to evoke a state of social reality. Born in postwar Kobe in 1955; he is the author of 17 films and three films for TV. His filmography is full of lonely characters and horror. Bright Future manifests a violent vision of the Japanese youth. Young people with no ambitions nor aspirations of any kind,sicken young people that do not fit in today's society. Violence in its most passive way. Kurosawa uses long and quiet shots, that strike upon the spectator's patience. The father's figure and his technological anachronism serve as a reference to the past, and to contrast the idea that technology drowns the modern Japanese; marginating youth to loneliness, turning them into a disperse society. The film can be interpreted as a ghost story. The ghosts of ideals an hope of social change. Ghosts of memories and ordinary practices, that in Kurosawa's work turn violent, they transform to dead ends. The mise-en-scene is magic, a dream like aesthetic that includes the invasion of Tokyo by an army of poisonous jellyfish. A plastic beauty that accompanies all the questioning and illustrates the consequences of a terrorist act. Bright Future is a philosophical exposition about the individual in society, as brilliant and at the same time as dark, that succeeds to move and interest.
spacebreeze

spacebreeze

Working at a large laundry cleaning service, Nimura Yuji spends most of his days sorting through clothing and transferring loads of clothing from washers to dryers. While this is not the most mentally stimulating or satisfying work, Nimura is at least accompanied by his best friend Arita Mamoru during his days of drudgery. While his life might be quite dull Nimura is able to escape his humdrum world by entering the realm of dreams where the future is bright. However, in the waking world Nimura seems to be a bit at a loss. He gets into fight over the smallest things such as the pieces of fried chicken in his lunch box were a bit small and it seems that without the guidance of Mamoru Yuji would not be able to survive.

Content hanging out at Mamoru's apartment, where he likes to feed Mamoru's pet jellyfish, and listening to music, Nimura's isolated world is invaded when his boss, Mr. Fujiwara, begins to wedge his way into his life. It begins small. Mr. Fujiwara asks the two young men to help him move his daughter's new desk upstairs and asks them to stay afterwards for dinner, but soon he is asking the two young to become fulltime employees and offers them large bonuses. Not sure if they want to accept the bonuses and the fulltime employment, Mamoru and Nimura try to avoid Mr. Fujiwara, but the older man invites himself over to Mamoru's home where he makes himself at home by plopping in front of the TV. Nimura is quite upset at the intrusion, but it is Mamoru who upsets the boss by not warning him when he sticks his hand in the poisonous jellyfish's tank. When accused by his boss, Mamoru quits his job. Left alone at work, Nimura's hatred towards his boss grows until one night, gripping a steel pipe; he is determined to kill his boss. However, when he arrives at his boss's house he finds the bloody corpses of his boss and his boss's wife in their bedroom. Mamoru is soon arrested and put in prison. Although Nimura visits his friend in prison, he is soon left alone and the divide between his reality and his world of dreams soon begins to erode.

Bright Future is the first film that I have watched by Kurosawa Kiyoshi. A quiet work, filled with light, whimsical music, Bright Future is a visual delight, especially when the red jellyfish are on screen. Odagiri Jo, Nimura, and Asano Tadanobu, Mamoru, both do excellent jobs of acting and one can truly feel how much Odagiri's character depends on Asano's. However, my favorite bit of acting within the film was performed by Fuji Tatsuya, the actor who starred in Oshima Nagisa's Realm of the Senses. There is one scene that is truly heartbreaking when Fuji's character is searching for Nimura's. A good film overall, but one I believe needs repeated viewing in order to figure out its multifaceted nuances.
Ynye

Ynye

You'd be hard pressed to find a film as dull as this one. Seriously, the film is all about how the youth of Japan are becoming apathetic and direction-less, and the film succeeds in showing this. However, nothing happening in a film does not equal high art, as nothing happening in a film equals nothing happening in a film. The first time we tried to watch this, we switched it off after fifteen minutes and didn't touch it for years. Bored one day, I decided to give it another go. I didn't know what bored was until I watched this film.

Two moody, unemotional actors representing the youth of Tokyo in a moody, unemotional way (i.e staring into space, mumbling, etc) work in some factory for an over-friendly boss. After moving a wardrobe for him, then having dinner and talking about their pet jellyfish, as well as lounging about in chairs and going out for a boring night out, the boss invites himself to their flat to watch Ping Pong (don't get too excited as they get back to that damn jellyfish again).

To cut a very boring story short, one of the guys kills his boss and his wife (offscreen), getting himself arrested. The other guy takes charge of the jellyfish and meets the murderer's dad. Not much happens unless you like talk about water desalination and people standing on roofs, staring into the distance.

Full of heavy handed dialogue, long stretches of nothing, people staring at each other and having awkward conversations, plus all that jellyfish action (they get it to take to fresh water where it breeds and multiplier's, resulting in a really exciting part where the jellyfish leave Tokyo, a not very subtle reference to them finding the freedom the youth crave, or something). I mean, the film ends with five minutes of a gang of youths walking down the street, bored.

If you're a chin stroking type who has to advertise to the world that your taste in film is superior to theirs, then you'll have a field day picking apart this film's subtext and imagery while the rest of the human race has fun doing something else. This is the most ponderous, boring Japanese film I've suffered through.
Samardenob

Samardenob

if your an American over 30 you won't get this unless you know about young Japanese culture. Likewise, if you are intelligent, and under this "age limit" you will get this movie. Its a real interesting expose about the aimlessness youth society has taken, I found the Jellyfish metaphor intriguing. The soft spoken characters urge you to want to know more about them, yet, at the same time, you begin to think you understand them. I have really become a fan of the more "intelligent" movies that japan has to offer as of lately (as opposed to the slasher and samurai movies), and they do not disappoint. If you enjoyed Kikujiro, you will like this movie, likewise if you enjoyed this movie, be sure to check out Kikujiro. While Akarui mirai is not the best film I have ever seen, it is defiantly something i would recommend.