5.9/10
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Tori (2004)

| 2004 (Japan)
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Masaru Miyazaki
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As if there was not enough ethereality surrounding Tadanobu Asano already...
4 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

Tadanobu Asano is a very busy man. Not only is he apart of 3-4 movies a year (roughly speaking), which seem to get better and better each time, he also had time to direct his first short.

I knew very little of this release prior to the viewing, but I knew enough about Asano to give this a try. It's basically a sketch of five stories, not in equal length nor in any correlation to one another. The first sketch starts out with some evolving animation and begins the second one in the woods, showing us a young man with a sword. Now I can go through each of these sketches in detail, but 10 minutes into the film I knew this wasn't going to be an easily comprehensible piece of cinema, it actually resembled a dream that a person would have, and to little surprise, after some searching on the net I found out that it's exactly that.

So how does one review someone else's dream? Let alone Tadanobu Asano's dreams? I have no idea. All I know is that the visuals were very pleasant and the sketches felt rather unforced and genuinely dreamlike. He must have learned from the best (Iwai), because he easily succeeded in creating the dreamy atmosphere with music that only enriched the experience and got his intentions across. There was dialogue only in one of those sketches and if you were wondering, Asano appears in only one of the sequences himself.

Obviously if you're an avid fan of the actor, watching this will become inevitable at one point or another. Going out of your way to see this immediately might not be the best choice, especially if his more acclaimed work is generally scarce for your viewing pleasure, as there are countless features much more worthy of your discovery.

Nonetheless, 2004, just like 2003, was a great year for Asano, as he was apart of two very interesting films and personal favorites of mine. One being The Taste of Tea and the other Survive Style 5+. Both coincidently have equally rich display of surrealism, as does Tori, but they are more complete, in a sense that they aren't as oblivious and disruptive as our dreams tend to be.


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