Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.A jaded Japanese woman discovers a hidden copy of Fargo (1996) on VHS, believing it to be a treasure map indicating the location of a large case of money.
Several comments: the movie is directed, co-written by and stars David Zellner (his brother Nathan co-wrote the script). The story is a fantastical concoction that is loosely based on true events, and when I say "loosely", you should read that in the broadest possible meaning. The movie's initial 45 minutes play out in Tokyo, and Zellner captures the loneliness and isolation of the Kumiko character, still an Office Lady at age 29, perfectly. When Kumiko is caught trying to steal a huge world atlas from the library and is asked why, Kumiko passionately explains that "I am like a Spanish Conquistador, retrieving untold treasures!", to the shock of the library guard. The last hour of the movie plays out in the US, and captures the mood of the 'frozen tundra' and also the mood of the "Fargo" movie perfectly. When Kumiko is wondering the snowy fields, the movie becomes the anti-"Wild" movie: rather than finding herself, Kumiko becomes more and more lost. Please note that, like in "Wild", there are long stretches in this film where not a word is spoken. Knowing some of the background on the real life events on which this is loosely based, I was quite surprised with the ending offered by this movie Last but not least, there is a great instrumental soundtrack, composed and performed by Austin-based indie band The Octopus Project.
I head read about this movie, and was intrigued by it. Imagine my surprise when "Kumiko The Treasure Hunter" opened without any pre-release fanfare or advertising at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati this weekend. I went to see it right away and the Sunday matinée screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great. Which is a shame, as this is a very nice 'little' movie that is quirky and off-center, yet always entertaining if not intriguing. IF that sounds like it might appeal to you, you cannot go wrong with this. "Kumiko The Treasure Hunter" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Apr 6, 2015