The rest of the film is about his return and his adventures in a very changed city. But I was in for a big surprise! If I thought this would be a typically gloomy and melancholic Oshii film at the beginning I soon realized with utter amazement that this is one hell of a weird hybrid of a film. Yes, there are a lot of typical Oshii-esquire moments of philosophizing and melancholy but for every such scene you get one in which the hero suffers from diarrhea and runs around making silly faces while looking for a toilet. There are a total of 3 (!!!) scenes of that in the film and they are acted, filmed and scored (by the once again brilliant Kenji Kawai) like a post-modern Japanese take on LAUREL & HARDY. And to make things even stranger there are also entire scenes set on a theatrical stage! Oshii resorts to simply filming the actors acting like they were in a play, sometimes even resorting to pantomime! Awesome, just awesome! Then, towards the end of the film it takes a turn for the surreal that I won't spoil but it involves a girl who may or may not represent fate, BLADE RUNNER skylines and the mysterious contents of a suitcase.
Well, what can I say? When I popped in this DVD I expected Oshii's patented brand of beautiful and cultivated tedium but instead I got what could possibly be described as a bizarre hybrid of URUSEI YATSURA and GHOST IN THE SHELL with elements of the films of David Lynch thrown in for good measure. I found the film to be extremely ahead of the time it was made in. Even after 15 years RED SPECTACLES still feels fresh and intriguing and thoroughly modern. Which is only further testament to the genius of Mamoru Oshii, who is simply one of the most exciting filmmakers to emerge out of Asia in the last 2 decades.