Drive My Car

Drive My Car ★★★★½

The Chekov element adds what ends up being the most weighty emotional dimension here I think, and as someone who hasn't read any Chekov it made me feel like I was missing the full effect a little bit, not to mention that the layer of 'performance' which gradually takes over does mean there's a lot more to parse when it comes to the film's reckoning with grief, which makes it both more exciting and more complicated. But all the things Hamaguchi is doing are so beautifully balanced with each other, teasing out everything just the right amount before walloping you. In true Murakami fashion, maybe the most memorable scene is the one featuring someone telling a story - the meaning of which is never altogether clear but carries ripples and echoes throughout the rest of the film, before and after. Love the way all the sex happens in the first 30 minutes or so and then lingers over the rest of the movie in a strange, indefinable way. Hidetoshi Nishijima has such an extraordinary face.

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