Fish Story

Thanks to the likes of Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry, time-hopping, genre-bending fractured narratives are ten-a-penny nowadays. So it’s refreshing to see a film which genuinely tries to explore the form. Set in five different time periods and incorporating subjects as disparate as punk, plagiarism, rape, romance, religion and impending armageddon, ‘Fish Story’ is as much a jigsaw puzzle as a movie, a challenge set by a first-time writer-director determined to go somewhere completely new.

In post-war Japan, a book is published entitled ‘Fish Story’, but thanks to a botched translation, every copy but one is pulped. In 1975, a revolutionary punk band are inspired to write a song of the same name. In 1982, three adolescents listen to the song on their way to meet girls. In 2009, a schoolgirl has an action-packed encounter with a would-be superhero who happens to have a family connection to one of the above trio. And in 2012, as a comet streaks for Earth, a pair of record store nerds play ‘Fish Story’ one last time as they wait for the end.

The fact that it doesn’t quite hang together is part of the undoubted charm of ‘Fish Story’: as the title suggests, the joy is as much in the telling as in any vague conclusions the movie may present. The result is a wonderfully entertaining and affecting  patchwork of ideas, incidents, contrivance and coincidence.

Release details

Release date: Friday May 28 2010
Duration: 112 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Screenwriter: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Cast: Atsushi Ito
Kengo Kora
Mikako Tabe
Gaku Hamada
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