Master filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure, Tokyo Sonata) returns with this story of a man who uses an advanced neurological technology to enter the frightening mindscape of his comatose lover.
A mysterious journey into the human subconscious for the origins of trauma and true love, REAL marks acclaimed director Kiyoshi Kurosawa's maiden voyage into the realm of science fiction. Based on Rokuro Inui's award-winning novel The Day of the Perfect Plesiosaur, Real tells the strange tale of two lovers, separated by coma, who meet in some shared space deep within their psyches.
Called "sensing," the innovative practice performed by neurologist Dr. Eiko Aihara (Miki Nakatani) allows entry into the subconscious mind of a comatose patient so as to stimulate memories and emotions that could accelerate the recovery process. Through this procedure, Koichi Fujita (Takeru Satoh) enters the mind of the love of his life, Atsumi Kazu (Haruka Ayase), a manga artist who attempted suicide. Koichi encounters all manner of weirdness within Atsumi's subconscious, such as philosophical zombies and subliminal fogs. In a fascinating yet frightening experience, he tries to decipher what pushed his lover to try to take her own life.
While revisiting the timeless myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Kurosawa manages to address important social themes like environmental awareness, recurrent suicides in Japanese society, and an artist's freedom of expression.
Mesmerizing and wildly imaginative,
Real is at once a ghost story, a monster
movie, and a mind-boggling psychological
fantasy. Accompanied by the excellent
performances of young stars Ayase and
Satoh — who is enjoying the huge domestic
success of last year's Rurouni Kenshin —
Kurosawa's serene and powerful look at
this story of ultimate love locks the audience
in a quietly disturbing embrace.
Special thanks to The Japan Foundation, Toronto.