7.6/10
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13 user 8 critic

Warai no daigaku (2004)

In pre-war Japan, a government censor tries to make the writer for a theater troupe alter his comedic script. As they work with and against each other, the script ends up developing in unexpected ways.

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Mutsuo Sakisaka
... Hajime Tsubaki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tae Kimura
Masao Komatsu ... Kanta Aozora
Masaya Takahashi ... Police Officer in the Corridor
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Storyline

In pre-war Japan, a government censor tries to make the writer for a theater troupe alter his comedic script. As they work with and against each other, the script ends up developing in unexpected ways.

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

University of Laughs  »

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Based on the stage play of the same name by the same writer. See more »

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User Reviews

 
masterclass from Yaksuho Koji
1 November 2006 | by See all my reviews

Warai no Daigaku is a comedy with a serious message. Stone-faced WWII censor Koji gives aspiring playwright Goro a run through the ringer as both men trade barbs on their way to unexpected fates. The tempo is brisk, laugh out loud moments aplenty, and the pay-off adds depth to what could easily have been an extended pun session. Koji excels as the authoritarian bureaucrat who lets his guard down to reveal thespian longings. His change from stone-faced oppressor, to collaborator, back to oppressor, is complex and perfectly timed. Unfortunately, Goro is a lightweight who manages not to offend too much by giving a tolerable performance here. His variety TV background carries him through the comedic moments, but when something heavier is called for, he simply isn't up to it. A pity, because this film could have been a classic but for that one moment of miscasting.

The simple locations, and rhythmic cutting between interrogation room, street and vaudeville theatre, imbibe the film with a simplicity in terms of pace that belies the gravitas of the themes. Warai no Daigaku never insults the tragic events that it is based upon. The filmmakers manage to get humour out of a situation that, historically, must have been soul- destroying for the individuals involved. Inventively shot, well-acted, convincingly cut, this is a film to watch and go back to.


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