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Kashikoi Inu wa Hoezuni Warau
2012 / 94m - Japan
Shady poster

Shady is a film that takes a bunch of familiar elements, rearranges them slightly but deliberately and adds a dash of its own uniqueness.

The Cinderella Addiction

Aishuu Shin Dere Ra
2021 / 114m - Japan
The Cinderella Addiction poster

It took him almost a decade, but Watanabe finally released a new film. Shady was a little gem that sadly remained under the radar, The Cinderella Addiction looks to be heading for a similar fate. Not quite as good as Watanabe's first, but if anything The Cinderella Addiction is a confirmation of his directorial talent.

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Koharu has her life on the rails, modest as it may be. But then her boyfriend cheats on her and everything comes crashing down. Things are looking up again when she meets a rich doctor who just happens to be a widower. He and his daughter Hikari are incredibly fond of Koharu, and not much later they become a family.

Looking at the title and the premise, it's not that difficult to figure out the broad structure of the film. Watanabe sticks to these expectations pretty closely, but stands out with above-average direction. The cinematography and soundtrack are very nice, performances are solid too. There is a bit of a shocker tucked away at the end, which does give the film some extra shine, but it's a case of too little, too late to turn this into a personal favorite. Its prime filler status is fully earned though.