ReviewWriter: Siti Munawirah MustaffaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Survive Style 5+”
Just as current film decadence is about to push the disappointed reviewer deep into the quicksand, "Key of Life" appears, and like the rising sun, it brings new hope into the present film industry.
Directed by Kenji Uchida, "Key of Life" is a satirical take on identity theft and finding one's true self. It stars award-winning Masato Sakai as an unemployed actor named Takeshi Sakurai who contemplates suicide upon failing in his career and being dumped by his girlfriend for a more successful man. He fails in his attempt and decides to clean himself at a public bath house. By some twist of fate, a wealthy businessman known as Kondo (Teruyuki Kagawa) slips on a bar of soap, which causes him to suffer from amnesia, but at the same time gives Sakurai the opportunity to steal his locker keys and assume his identity. All goes well for Sakurai until he finds out about Kondo's real career when he gets all tangled up with a yakuza gang.
There is so much to like about the film that the reviewer has no clue on where to begin. The actors' performances are a definite top notch and there is no hesitation about that. If, under some circumstances the reviewer is forced to only choose that one best actor, all eyes would be placed on veteran actor Teruyuki Kagawa, who gave out such a brilliant, versatile performance in switching his roles from a professional contract killer to a naïve patient of memory loss with such depth.
Excellent cinematography is not the sole ingredient for "Key of Life" to be such an incredible masterpiece. Its beauty also lies within the 'art-imitates-life' story itself, which provides the audience a chance to explore human's imperfection, as well as gaining insights on fate's unpredictability.
Like the Japanese pop culture that we all love so much, "Key of life" is quirky, hilarious, intelligent and imaginative. For those of you that feel the cinemas have nothing worthy to offer, it's time to put your RM5 to good use. This is not a recommendation by the reviewer. Rather, she insists and compels you to do so.Cinema Online, 14 September 2012