“Have you ever staked your life on anything?”
Cast: YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoshino Kimura and Yoshinori Okada
YosiYosi Arakawa takes his first lead role in this romantic, indie comedy as Terou. Approaching 30 he still hasn’t really achieved anything in his life, working as a tree trimmer on a park and still living above his father’s second-hand bookstore, occasionally helping out. Terou has a passion for horror though, and with this, constantly tries to scare people with his homemade devices. He has a dream to one day open a haunted house that will “literally scare people to death”.
His best friend since childhood is Hisanobu (Yoshinori Okada), a hospital administrator. After introducing Akari (Yoshino Kimura), an overtly clumsy yet talented artist to Terou, she begins to work in the bookstore. Soon, both men fall in love with her and vie for her affection.
Most of the individuals in this film seem to have fallen off the tracks somewhere in life. They aren’t typical characters that you normally see in film, and yet this works to its advantage. The unknown location of the town also adds to the incongruent undertones and allows people that may sometimes find themselves out of mainstream society, to share this feeling of displacement. It’s these factors that give it an edge and separates it from your typical rom-com.
At first, Fine Totally Fine is strange to watch, but it does start to grow on you. A lot of the scenes with Akari are sensationalised and it gets difficult to watch when you are constantly cringing, but then again it’s meant to be humorous in an over-the-top way, so the groaning may be met with an equal amount of laughing. While the beginning the film seems rather disgruntled and slow paced, the plot tightens up and you begin to feel more engaged. Though the characters are sometimes flawed, it manages to pull through and be quite an enjoyable film.
Star rating: 5/10
Directed by Yosuke Fujita.
Running time 110 minutes.