Vital ★★★½

What I really want to see is your sincerity.

I was going into this thinking it would be lesser Tsukamoto, which I guess it is. But, I of course underestimated the fact that "lesser Tsukamoto" is still going to be some good stuff. After watching Electric Dragon earlier today, I wanted to watch something else with Tadanobu Asano, and a collaboration between him and Tsukamoto sounded like something too good to pass up. This was solid stuff with very notable bits and pieces. Asano gives a strong lead performance for saying next to nothing, just completely drawing you into his eyes and presence whenever he's on-screen. This is a sort of weird romance, light psychological thriller, and minimal body horror type deal, and if that sounds bizarre to you in an enticing way, you should absolutely watch it. A man rediscovers himself and dissects a relationship taken away too soon, both figuratively and literally. Shinya's common portrayals of messed-up individuals doing messed-up things continues, he's unafraid to have some queasy visuals, but it all comes back to a sense of human exploration. Even at its most uncomfortable, Vital never feels exploitative. Not essential, but worth a visit for Shinya dudes like myself.


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