While his wife and children are away on holiday, a henpecked, daydreaming pharmacist begins a flirtatious relationship with the pretty girl in the boutique opposite. Almost a Japanese screwball comedy.
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This Japanese comedy is bookended by Frank Nagai's title song, and Nagai keeps cropping up throughout the film - even appearing in a rock face. At the suggestion of his friend, a lackadaisical vet, a repressed, henpecked, daydreaming pharmacist takes advantage of the fact that his domineering wife has gone off on holiday with the children to live life to the full. He begins flirting with the pretty girl working in the boutique opposite his shop. He and his friend go out for a wild night on the town before a madcap night time boat trip with the young woman reveals a few truths to our hero. Written by
A slight American-style comedy from a Japanese master
Nishi Ginza Ekimae (or Nishi Ginza Station as it is subtitled on the blu-ray release I watched (from the UK's Eureka Masters of Cinema range, where it is paired with The Insect Woman)) is the second film Shohei Imamura, a man who would become a key figure in Japanese cinema in a few short years. This is a slight work, though, based on a popular song by Frank Nagai (who sings it three times in this film), and to me seems very American influenced, almost like a Frank Tashlin comedy. This is broad farce, played not unwarmly by its two leads. It does remain, however, limited in its scope - with very little in the way of interesting direction (there are flashes of Imamura's brilliance but that is all). The final 20 minutes, in which our heroes become lost (physically and metaphorically) had room to become something more interesting, but Imamura is building towards a gag that, though moderately funny, is rather predictable.
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