This is K. He likes to shoot at people.
Tokyo Eyes (Tokiói szemek) is a unique production by French director Jean-Pierre Limosin that was originally set to film in Paris but then decided to make it entirely Japanese and set the plot in Tokyo. In short, it is a movie containing Japanese characters with homages to French cinema. A love story between a hairdresser and an inexperienced voyeuristic computer programmer–who feels he should correct the actions of those he views as “wrongdoers.”
Strange shootings plague the Tokyo district of Shinjuku. In every case, none of the victims are killed or even hit by a bullet. The culprit is given the name of “Four Eyes”, because of the thick glasses the assailant wears during the attacks. Hinano (Hinano Yoshikawa), a young hairdresser, see a scruffy gentleman on the train heading home with video and audio equipment attached to his body. With a wild idea in her head, Hinano decides to pursue the mysterious man to discover his true identity.
K (Shinji Takeda) possesses a profound knowledge of electronics and a love of dance music. In exchange for his talents, and has little social skills; he finds smiling to be an unusual trait and doesn’t seem to understand the concept of personal space. Hinano finds him unique and attractive–despite the other half of himself. They share a love of partying and video games, making it hard for her to decide to leave or stay. Personal conflict arises within, as she debates whether her love is “right.”
Tokyo Eyes is an enjoyable film, but it does have its quirks. For instance, who doesn’t notice a guy with sizable electronic equipment and a camera on a train? In Tokyo, a large metropolitan area, of all places! It’s almost impossible to conceive that pedestrians could not notice someone walking around, making abnormal movements with two detectable bright red lights (the camera lenses) in their hands! Then the dynamics of their relationship are odd; most of the general population wouldn’t just decide to follow someone home to see if they are a shooter, nor would they casually attempt to socialize with a suspect.
Takeshi Kitano makes a guest appearance in the film and what is interesting that this is the second movie I’ve seen him as a Yakuza agent or boss. A role for which suits him well.
The visuals of the film are enjoyable, containing specific elements of Japanese cinema; excellent close-ups and an intimate blend of muted colors. Xavier Jamaux produced the soundtrack consisting of pulsating electronic and house music, fitting the traits and hobbies of K and Hinano, the reclusive computer nerd and the upbeat beauty. One of the tracks were featured in the film (during the apartment dance scene) was pretty sweet and might encourage you to “jam” along with the characters in the movie. Video game enthusiasts will no doubt take pleasure in the arcade scene, where Virtua Fighter 3 and Street Fighter Alpha 2 are depicted in all their visual glory.
Fans of Japanese or French cinema may find Tokyo Eyes is worth checking out, and it is possible that fans of electronica will enjoy the soundtrack. Also, Kitano fans will also appreciate that this enigmatic personality gets in a little screen time. The film has a little bit of everything for everyone.