Living with a roommate can be a nightmare. I’m sure everyone has stories of living with that annoying person who has to label everything, snores incredibly loud or walks around naked. But imagine if those two roommates were both struggling actresses with a desire to be the best and who are up for the same role and like the same guy. Well, you don’t need to imagine this because director Yukihiko Tsutsumi already has. Part of an idea he had with fellow director Ryuhei Kitamura to each make their own film with 2 to 3 characters and one location (Kitarmura's was Aragami). For Tsutsumi’s part, he succeeded in making an entertaining black comedy about egos and the price that comes with them.
Nozomi and Lana, played wonderfully by Eiko Koike and Maho Nonami start off polite. They try and deal with each other but the audience is clued in to their real feelings through voiceover. When one character compliments the other there is always a snide comment that is left unsaid. As the two begin to open up about what is bugging them and their own insecurities they begin to get nasty. And boy do they get nasty. The last half of this film feels a little like Kill Bill with swords, chainsaws and a little stain remover. This is not a gory film and even with the hell these two put each other through they don’t seem to get quite as f*cked up as you would think. But that is a minor complaint. This flick didn’t need the gore; it was dark, demented and pretty damn funny.
Shot on a single location, Mr. Tsutsumi (who also wrote the script) knows how to keep the pace moving by keeping his camera moving in unique ways. Between the static shots, the close ups and the unnerving roaming camera I was involved. The conversations, although the subtitles are probably not always spot on, felt genuine. If you know any actors you will probably recognize these two women. Which brings me to what really kept me invested; the two actresses both had charisma to spare, but they also made their transition very believable. Yes, there were moments that I couldn’t believe the shite they were doing, but I was always able to accept it. Actors can be desperate people, especially when it involves that “career making” role.