Pyua Japanizu
2022 / 88m - Japan
Action, Drama
Pure Japanese poster


August 10, 2022


A peculiar little film, mixing action with a quest for a Japanese identity. I'm not entirely sure if the film was very successful in what it set out to do, but the result is pretty interesting regardless. Don't go in expecting a straightforward genre film though, it's more like a slightly overambitious blend of different styles and approaches.

Tateushi is a young Japanese actor who returns from the US after he causes an accident on set. He goes to work in a samurai-themed village where he becomes a show fighter in a play. His past still haunts him and when he tries to help a local family who is being bullied by some local Yakuza he just makes things harder on himself.

The film works towards a showdown between Tateushi and the Yakuza, but also digs deeper into his US roots, even introducing some (semi)medical test that is supposed to tell someone how pure his Japanese roots are. The two elements never really come together that well, but there are some memorable scenes and the pacing is on point. Not bad, just oddly convoluted for what could and should have been a simpler film.