Drive My Car

Drive My Car ★★★½

Ambitious, mournful, philosophical, Drive My Car manages to dissect Haruki Murakami's original story into a beautiful think piece on the true essence of human connection. Ryusuke Hamaguchi has proved here once again why he is one of the most important Japanese directors working today.

Slightly outlandish yet eventually humane, the original story by Haruki Murakami is well within Hamaguchi's wheelhouse, which explains the ease with which Hamaguchi dives into the whimsical universe of Kafuku, a Japanese actor juggling family tragedy, and a multilingual stage play he's passionate about. Via his red car, Kafuku connects with his wife, his project, and a mysterious female driver assigned to him, both physically and spiritually. At the scenic filming location of a seaside Japanese city, Hamaguchi explores and toys with the possibilities of combining elements of grief, trauma and the beauty of literary, and the end result is an equal parts mysterious and shattering trip of metaphysical excellence.

Other than the homecoming segment that feels far too melodramatic and didactic for my taste, Drive My Car is simply perfect filmmaking and one of Hamaguchi's best. Highly recommended.

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