If you’re looking for a Takeru Sato movie to tide you over until the next installment of “Rurouni Kenshin” is released, take a look at “Real”.
In this movie, Sato plays a man named Koichi Fujita, whose significant other (I don’t recall whether they said she was his fiancee or girlfriend), played by Haruka Ayase, has fallen into a coma after a suicide attempt. The hospital that’s been caring for her in the interim has developed technology to allow people to connect and communicate at the subconscious level, as if in a dream state, so he agrees to use it to try to bring her back to the real world. Over the course of the exposition, the audience finds out that she’s a manga artist. She feels like she’s lost her way, and the only way to get her motivation back is for him to find a picture of a plesiosaur she drew in a sketchbook as a child.
The psychology of the situation only intensifies as Koichi goes looking for the drawing. He starts to hallucinate in the real world, things that he saw Atsumi drawing in the dream world. And just when he thinks he found it, things get even more complicated.
I admit that I was too busy trying to piece together what I was watching, to see the twist coming. In fact, it took me so by surprise, that I stopped knowing what to believe… which I imagine was the point. The cast and staff had me completely consumed by what I was watching, though, which is always a good thing, and the costuming and set design choices were excellent.
I really enjoy watching Sato-san work, and while I like psychological thrillers well enough, the ones that introduce undead and things that require liberal amounts of creepy makeup aren’t quite my cup of tea.
Rating: 3rd Gear
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