Kin'yuu Hametsu Nippon: Tôgenkyô no Hito-bito
2002 / 105m - Japan
Drama, Fantasy
Shangri-La poster


September 11, 2010


Miike shows a softer side with Shangri-La. As is often the case, the titular Shangri-La isn't a literal paradise, but it's certainly not a cynical or ironic one either. Miike delivers a pleasant and agreeable little drama about a secluded community of outcasts. The film tones down any excess and aims for comfort instead.

Sho Aikawa plays the leader of a small community of homeless people. They have little wealth, but they also have few problems, and they live a happy life under Aikawa's command. When a broke printer joins the gang, they take pity on the man and devise a plan to save his business.

Aikawa is clearly the star of the film. The rest of the cast is a quirky bunch, the plot is predictable but amusing and even though it's not as distinctive as some of Miike's other films, it's a testament to his talent that he can easily pull off a film like this too. Very sweet and agreeable filler.