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A teenager called Noriko Shimabara runs away from her family in Tokoyama, to meet Kumiko, the leader of an Internet BBS, Haikyo.com. She becomes involved with Kumiko's "family circle", which grows darker after the mass suicide of 54 high school girls. Written by
Once again Sion Sono proves how unique his films are with "Noriko's Dinner Table", a film that takes place before, during and after the events of the controversial horror film "Suicide Club" which tries to solve some of the questions raised on that film. Seriously, what kind of director would make a 2 hours and 30 minutes drama as a prequel/sequel to an horror/mystery film?
This time we follow Noriko, a teenage girl who lives with her family in a small town and whose life is pretty average. However, she thinks that life is not enough for her and so she finds a website that becomes her second home, a place where she finds new friends she can relate with and that allows her to be happy again. It is then that she decides to meet someone in Tokyo from that website and so she begins a crazy experience in an organization that offers people to play various roles in a family rental business.
This is the kind of film that takes time to digest and to think about it subjects. It's a film that makes us think what our place in Earth is and how connected with are with society and mostly important with ourselves. It explores various issues like the concepts of happiness and family dysfunction, which is also present in other films from this director.
It's also easy to relate to Noriko on how the alienation to society and the lack of communication makes her use the internet as an escapism tool, a place where she has the chance to meet the kind of people who she can't seem to connect with in real life.
Sometimes when we go through very difficult times in our lives we try to avoid that pain by sticking to stuff that puts our minds away from those thoughts. Stuff that makes us feel like we're somebody else. We disconnect from ourselves in order to find a new us. This is the message that the films tries to portray.
Noriko's Dinner table is an amazing film and one of my all time favorites.
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