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Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (2003)

Joze to tora to sakana tachi (original title)
Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tsuneo
Chizuru Ikewaki ...
Joze (Kumiko)
Juri Ueno ...
Kanae
Hirofumi Arai ...
Koji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshiyoshi Arakawa ...
Bookstore Clerk
Noriko Eguchi ...
Noriko
Daigo Fujisawa ...
Ryuji
Kazuhiro Fujiwara ...
Haruki Kanai
Itsuji Itao ...
The Manager
Tai Kageyama ...
Master of Mahjong Bar
Anne Mari ...
Woman at Mahjong Bar
Yoshiyuki Morishita ...
The Pervert
Kôji Ohkura ...
Man at Mahjong Bar
SABU ...
Patron (as Sabu)
Eiko Shinya ...
Joze's grand mother
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Storyline

Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she is carrying something for a crime syndicate, and they wonder what it is she has in the carriage. Money? Drugs? One day, the owner of the mah-jong parlour sends Tsuneo out to walk his dog. A baby carriage comes rolling down a hill and crashes into a guard rail. The old lady asks him to look into the carriage, where he finds a young woman clutching a knife. This is how Tsuneo first meets the girl who calls herself Josée. Written by lily

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

young love | youth | disability | love | See All (4) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 December 2003 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Peculiar Joze, amusing Joze, beautiful Joze
3 January 2005 | by (Aarhus, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This beautiful fairy tale from the shabby quarters of Osaka instantly became one of my favorite flicks of all time when I went to see at at the premiere at Cinequinto in Shibuya on a cold December afternoon in 2003. The cold and noisy streets of Shibuya contrasted the warmth of the cinema and the pleasant music played by Quruli during the credits.

Tsuneo is an easygoing guy who casually sleeps around with girls, works at the local Mahjong Parlour and generally drifts around. A typical Japanese college kid. That is until he literally bumps into Joze. A physically disabled girl who is pushed around in a baby carriage by an old lady (who sleeps at the dinner table throughout most of the movie). Tsuneo is intrigued by this beautiful and surprisingly intelligent young girl. Joze is sarcastic and defensive, but in a very charming manner, and Tsuneo soon becomes a regular visitor at the old lady's shabby house. But is it possible for a guy such as Tsuneo to commit himself to a very special girl such as Joze?

Chizuru Ikewaki's performance as Joze is really extraordinary. The sarcasm and witty remarks mixes really well with her Osaka-dialect and her eccentric exterior, and yet we sense a very sweet and vulnerable girl underneath her shell. Satoshi Tsumabuki also does his job quite well as Tsuneo. The chemistry and intimacy between the two characters as they grow closer to each feels quite real and convincing, and it is entertaining to just watch them interact casually at the same time.

There are so many details that make this movie entertaining. The kid who glares dumbfounded at a naked girl waves at Tsuneo's little brother. The love hotel that turns into the inside of a virtual aquarium when you turn the lights off. The exceedingly delicious-looking food that Joze casually cooks. All these details make this movie a unique and fun experience.

When the movie was over, I found myself entertained by the comic aspects of the movie, but I was also deeply touched by the love story, that seemed so profound and real. This movie is both a light, romantic comedy as well as an intimate story about two people who develop and evolve through their relationship. In this regard, it is thematically similar to recent films such as "Lost in Translation" (2003), "Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind" (2004) and the Japanese "Vibrator" (2003).

"Joze to tora to sakana tachi" is a rare and unique film experience. I implore you to see it.


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