Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Fantasia Film Fest 2021 Review: Wonderful Paradise

Was looking forward to this one too. Yeah, it just couldn't live up to its trailer in Masashi Yamamoto's Wonderful Paradise. The film's basic premise is that on the last day of the Sasaya family home still belonging to them, the family's daughter, Akane, posts on social media they're having a party. And what follows is a bunch of different surreal developments of strange party guests. What we don't stick to is the family learning or changing from these guests, no real change comes to any of them.
From the trailer, I was anticipating a fun, strange film with the promises of ghosts, sexy time and some blood and yes, all of those things are in the film, but at such a strange pace and not building off each other. It's just waiting on what strange thing will happen in the next scene. Oh, look a kaiju is in it now. Look a man in a dress. Oh, what's up with that cat.

Though a festival forms in a backyard and a lot of fun strange moments come about like a boy turning into a stick or a double ice pick wedding ceremony covered in blood, none of it seems earned. We get a Bollywood dance number, but because...the director thought it would look cool in that part of the movie?

We get drama smooshed in about the Sasaya family and why it has so many problems and other guests
problems, but really nothing comes of it. We follow a dirty old monk who appears to be homeless for most of the film with nothing to really show for it.

I've seen many Japanese films with large casts like this, but all of them have an ending to go to or a point. And were a lot weirder or sillier.  There nothing really here for this one to stick out.
It has a few laughs in the start, because of it's randomness, but that randomness gets annoying by the end.