Skip to main content

Do Follow

Featured Post

Marvel's Black Widow Review - More of the Same

If today's cinema world was a closet and you pull something out of it, you'd find yourself a superhero costume 70 percent of the times. Marvel's Black Widow is just another pretty looking and flashy costume, with little to no design modifications. Nonetheless, its an entertaining film and here's our verdict.  Film  – Marvel's Black Widow (2021) Duration  – 2h 14 m Director  – Cate Shortland Main Cast - Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour Rating  – 3 / 5 (It's a spoiler-free review) Black Widow acts as a fitting tribute to MCU's fan-favorite character but at the same time it is just more of the same stuff we see in a superhero flick. For one thing this film is about 5 years too late and for another, it doesn't really do anything for Black Widow's character or MCU as a whole. In my opinion it was just a cheap trick to encash the fans' emotions after losing her in Avengers: Endgame. Well, its not a bad film

One Cut of the Dead – The Low Budget Japanese Gem!

A zombie flick would be the last idea if someone wants to make a low budget film, and what if I tell you there’s a zombie film which was made under $30,000 and had a gross collection of $30.5 million worldwide? Yes, a film which made around a thousand times of its production cost. How? The answer is simple – the treatment of a story.

Film – One Cut of the Dead (2017)

Duration – 1h 35m 

Director – Shiinchirou Ueda

Main Cast - Takayuski Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya and Manabu Hosoi

Rating – 4 / 5 (RT - 100%, IMDB - 7.7)

I still remember going to a Japanese film marathon organized in PVR Select Citywalk back in 2018 and choosing this film was a completely random choice, as I had less knowledge about Japanese cinema and my enthusiasm for cinema had just begun. The poster seemed a little bit interesting to me and I was among the “Shawn of the dead” fans, always up for a horror-comedy flick.

Now the first 37 minutes of the film was pure torture. It was completely the wrong choice for me. I didn’t understand a single thing happening on the screen, some people were talking, inside an abandoned place and zombies start attacking them, that’s it. That’s the story. We have no context of the characters, story, zombies, elements and all we see is a single-take shot of 37 minutes shot. And that’s the beauty of that film. It isn’t a slow film, its just that the viewer has to wait for 40 minutes to get the context. A small TV show director is approached to direct a film, and he gets the idea of shooting a one-take film. But things go wrong.

Don't watch the trailer, just go and check this film out.

Explaining anything more than that would be giving away spoilers because the premise is pretty small and believe me, you’ll be blown away for the next 50 minutes. The film also plays a satire on film industry looking down on people working in a low budget film. The casting in the film is done really well as all the characters (after we understand the context) feel pretty realistic as people working on a film. The whole film is full of unstabilized shots, but works pretty well. And believe me, when I say this, waiting for 40 minutes is totally worth it. The humour factor works brilliantly and this is a totally different approach to a zombie film. The last film I watched which had such a different approach was “Why don’t you play in hell”(2013) by the legendary SION SONO. Well, that film was totally different in terms of the premise but “films about films” are always fascinating for me. This film is based on human denial, perseverance and family bonding values too, and no, this isn't as emotional as "Train to Busan", it's a pretty fun ride.

One Cut of the Dead review – zombie films get a shot in the arm ...
Again, please don't watch the trailer if you want to watch the film

The camerawork is not as brilliant as you would expect but works quite efficiently with the treatment of a “low budget” film. Everything is so well stitched that you feel complete in the end. There’s no feeling of “Man, I wanted more” or “Such a long film” either. That’s one aspect of a good film. It hits the right spot. Maybe I am bragging too much about watching this film, but this film was one of those films you vouch for. 

Director Shinichirou Ueda, wrote and edited this film too, and another great trivia, the film was shot in just 8 days! The beauty of low budget films is they have a high emphasis on balancing filmmaking both as a business and art at the same time. Even if the premise is short, the approach and the characters make it all worthwhile. Another low budget which falls under the same “gem” category is Slacker (1990) by Richard Linklater. Talking about its reception in its own country, Wikipedia says it grossed more than 27 million dollars in Japan itself. It also won numerous awards including 42nd Japan Academy prize for best editing.

The originality of this film makes it stand apart from every other zombie film I’ve ever seen. So if you’re looking for a really fun film for a night, believe me, This is the go-to film for you. Again, Context is what makes this film a masterpiece of Japanese cinema.  I won't suggest you watch its trailer because nearly all the trailers available on the internet reveal major spoilers for this film. So go, just check this film out blindly. And once you're done, you can always come back here and write your views too! 

Subscribe to this blog if you want to because we want to grow a community of people High on Cinema!


Popular Posts