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Phantom (II) (2013)

 -  Drama  -  July 2013 (France)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,092 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 24 critic

In Tokyo, a girl and her boyfriend spend a night talking about their life, their precarious condition and their difficulties to earn a living, their place in the world, if ever they have one...

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yuki Fujita ...
Woman
Masato Tsujioka ...
Man
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Storyline

In Tokyo, a girl and her boyfriend spend a night talking about their life, their precarious condition and their difficulties to earn a living, their place in the world, if ever they have one...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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The real difficulty is to find a place in a world that does not necessarily have one for us.

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Drama

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July 2013 (France)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Quotes

Woman: The real tragedy is to keep going into life, even if sometimes, you don't really see the point.
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User Reviews

 
We're all phantoms
4 November 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

One of the greatest surprises of the year, "Phantom" is an experience to be seen and felt by everyone who strives to see something unique in terms of film and life experiences. It's an honest observation on the human condition, reflecting on situations that in one way or the other we can truly say: we've all been there. Cogito ergo sum! I think, therefore I am. From ages ago to many distant centuries to go, people will always try to find answers to their existence, comforting reasons or not on why life has to be the way it is, or how can one change things. Internal questioning, sometimes sharing with someone who may provide a different perspective; if not, at least we have a good talk. And that's what this movie offers.

"Phantom" revolves around a Tokyo couple (Yuki Fujita and Masato Tsujioka) spending a sleepless night talking about who they are, the problems they face, trying to find a meaning for what they're going through. Most of the time it's the girl who exposes her views on life, her problems and obstacles she faces while finding ways to pay her rent, or understand the world around her. The boyfriend seems less worried about everything and acts supportive of her, sometimes joking around to ease their mood.

As images we barely see them with each other, instead we follow them having solitary moments, walking alone in the city, conflicted with what they see. It's like those moments you have when you're going from one place to another, on your way to school or work, just observing people, reactions, situations, peculiar acts and your mind goes in several directions. We are reminded of the many contemplative shots Sofia Coppola and Terrence Malick use in their works mixed with the persistent dialog of the main characters in the background, almost a Godard style but less political and more down to earth. The director's choice in doing this instead of a filmic play trapped in the same place is an excellent and cautious choice, even more surprising for a foreign director to present a different culture in the way they perceive themselves: as called in Japan, Ma (emptiness). The space in between images, fragments in quietude, empty but full of meaning, it's there with a purpose. All of those give a sense of time and place and where people are. The technique is growing stronger lately and of the few films I've seen this year that used this dream-like style with off-screen dialogs, this one used the best.

Though the place chosen to be set was Japan, the movie's proposition and ideals resonate in all over the world, a great example of a genuine universal cinema that breaks barriers and reaches everyone, everywhere. Real and straight-forward in its questionings, one feel easily connected with those characters and their visions of world, as if they were taking many of your thoughts from your head. We spend sleepless nights imaging why we're here, what we're going to do with our lives, and we felt exactly like the phantoms described by the woman here (sorry I won't spoil the meaning of it). With such a higher sense of identification, even if we don't get no answers and no solutions to the problems presented, at least we can say: it's the same struggle everywhere and we're not alone. Just extremely separated for many reasons, far away yet so close.

It reveals plenty about life, our anguish, fears and desires, happiness, misery, evolution, growth, the communication we have with others and ourselves, the many stages of what makes us humans. For a first time work, Mr. Jonathan Soler accomplished the feat of a cinema giant and I'm definitely looking forward for his next projects. His direction of actors is very impressive, taking the best of his actors. Fujita's voice was like music for the ears, filled with emotion. Complex yet simple, beautiful yet saddening, that's art echoing life as it is. 10/10


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