Review: 3 Ft Ball & Souls (Sanshaku Tamashii)

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Title: 3 ft Ball and Souls
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Yoshio Kato
Starring: Honoka Murakami, Minehiro Kinomoto, Shinobu Tsuji
Runtime: 1 hr 39 mins

What It Is: When a group of individuals deadset on ending their lives gather around a giant firework to do just that they’ll soon realize that instead of ending their lives they’ll be stuck in an odd time loop until they can figure out what it is that’s wrong with their lives and why they are looking to end it all. They will learn about each other as well as lessons about life and about themselves.

What We Think: It’s Groundhog Day for the self-destructive. It deals with its complex themes in a way that is somewhat humorous but never takes away from its central message. That message gets a bit too heavy-handed in the third act. Most of the acting here is quite good, even despite the obvious language barrier I could still feel the emotions coming through. At every point in this film was I in it. From top to bottom. I got the feeling throughout that all of these people had a story to tell. Each more personal and meaningful than the last. Kato did an amazing job using his one location throughout MOST of the film.

Our Grade: C+, Thanks to Fantastic Fest for allowing me to check out this film. It was a very enlightening experience to watch something like this. I don’t often get the pleasure of checking out live-action narratives from the land of the rising sun. Japanese cinema is not as prevelant on our page and this is but a taste of it. I’d like to see a bit more. I can tell people gutsy enough to try some foreign cinema to definitely check this one out if you can get a chance.

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