Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fantasia 18' Film Review - LOUDER! Can't Hear What You're Singing, Wimp!

Fuka (Riho Yoshioka) is a church mouse behind the mike as she sings with her street performing band. She is so quiet people walk by talking on their cell phones louder than she projects into the mike. Her frustrated bandmates finally have enough and kick her out of the band. Sin (Sadao Abe) is the biggest voice in Japan. His fans go crazy for his heavy metal vocals. He takes risks with his vocal chords though a process of vocal cord doping that leads to a harsh abrupt end at his latest concert. Leaving that event he just about runs over Fuka entering into her life ending her excuses and avoidance.

First, Sin pushes her into attending an audition that a companies her to incognito down. He takes her under his wing pushing her out into the open to build her confidence. He even turns up at her home patrolled by her Uncle Zappa and Aunti Devil. A psychedelic late 60 paradise that Sin crashes into literally coming though a window leading Fuka to an exaggerated writing sequence. The focus shifts to Sin as his larynx problems return. The search for a cure leads the pair to South Korea where a series of dramatic events ends with Fuka finally finding her voice.

Director Satoshi Miki shows once again that fantasy is his playground with his film. He has two central charters are perfect foils then begin to move towards each other as the action progresses. Another Miki trait of throwing together different personalities to create a spark. Miki presents the trippy home environment for Ruka providing rich visuals for the viewer.

Suzuki Matsuo and Eri Fuse steal the show as Fuka Uncle and Aunti. The former full of zany ideas while Aunti Devil is tough as nails a good match for heavy metal maniac Sin. Riho Yoshioka transforms during the piece. She is a meek whisper at the outset then upon finding her voice an acoustic projector on stage. Sadao Abe's Sin goes the other direction. Screaming leather bound madman to a stoic monk like introvert.

Louder! Can't Hear What You're Singin', Wimp! benefits from an ensemble cast that buys into the Miki lunacy. They are all dedicated to the project with their enthusiasm coming through clearly on film. The film has several twists and turns plus many instances that push boundaries with some working better than others. It's an experience at the theatre which goes over better with a crowd willing to let go and absorb.

*** Out of 4.

Louder! Can't Hear What You're Singin' Whimp! | Satosi Miki | Japan | 2018 | 106 Minutes

Tags: Heavy Metal, Rock God, Vomit, Larynx, Doping, Vocal Chords, Acoustic, Promoter, Ice Cream.

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