2017 / 70m - Japan
Blank 13 poster


November 26, 2021


Takumi Saitoh's first feature film is a pretty interesting one. Probably best known for his acting work, it turns out Saitoh also has some directing chops. Though Blank 13 is a pretty basic drama in essence, there are some fun and notable directorial touches that help to set it apart from its peers.

Masato Matsuda is addicted to mahjong. He neglects his family and his debt is mounting. 13 years after leaving his family behind, Matsuda dies. His two sons know very little about their father, but as the people attending his funeral start sharing stories, they finally get to know the man that abandoned them.

Saitoh's use of sound is remarkable. The slight (and dry) comedy touches are compelling, the way he cuts up the narrative and still makes it look effortless is also very worthwhile. The actors do a solid job, the drama is pleasant, and the film looks decent enough. Not the greatest Japanese drama out there, but a very solid film from a promising director.