The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden ★★★

Shinobu Yaguchi #3

Continuing my Yaguchi run, though I messed up the order a little, assuming this film came after Adrenaline Drive.

Sakiko likes being around money. So much so, that she ends up working as a bank teller. Events occur involving a bungled robbery, kidnapping and a suitcase full of stolen cash, that's written off by everyone, except Sakiko, who has a fair idea of where it may be.

Her determination to retrieve the case leads her to go out and learn a bunch of new skills (college education, deep water diving, rock climbing etc.) in preparation for her trek. Her straightforward plan snowballs into tangents, once she's forced into situations beyond her control.

Completely a character growth story, which is pretty much the skeleton for most of Yaguchi's films. The connective tissue wasn't always there, so it often felt like being dragged along a without a compass.

I'll admit that the 3 times I've tried watching this, I've fallen asleep. It lacks a compelling narrative and character, so a bit of a struggle when trying to keep up with the random adventures of an uninteresting protagonist.

It's a good arc overall, even if it feels like a bit of a slog at times. Far from Yaguchi's best, but a stepping stone in the right direction.

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