March 3, 2011

Instant Swamp (Satoshi Miki, 2009)


WHAT IT IS: After her mother’s suicide attempt, Haname, a young woman in crisis, finds a letter addressed to her long-lost biological father and decides she wants to meet him.

HOW IT IS: After the beautifully surreal Adrift in Tokyo (2007) Miki truly disappoints with this unfocused fable exploring the great divide between magical thought and rational thought, as observed through Haname’s existential crisis and her strong desire for relevance. Although there are strong similarities between Adrift in Tokyo and Instant Swamp (the seemingly random situations, the search for a father figure, etc.), Adrift in Tokyo had a solid plot, creating a cohesive thread between its surreal scenes, while Instant Swamp fails to connect together, in an emotionally satisfying way at least, its random comedic scenes. The movie is a two-hour crude joke, punctuated by a plethora of short gags.

Because of that, Instant Swamp is ultimately unsuccessful in catching any attention and barely any laughs, the whole movie seemingly adrift, contrary (and very ironically) to Miki’s last film effort.

IF YOU LIKE: Turtles are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers, Adrift in Tokyo.