I’m an odd duck in many instances. My sense of humor is both sarcastic and gallows, I don’t go for what society deems attractive, and my favorite things are the tiny details someone puts into art. I also display some signs of OCD in terms organizing my world. So when I found Right Place by Kosai Sekine, I grinned after watching it. This one is equal parts charming and kindred spirit. Check it out.
Technically, I loved the use of semi-sickly lighting and reliance on sound. An ashen overtone can go a long way in making something feel out of place, and that worked in this film’s favor. It also played with sound and lack of dialogue, which is a huge feat for me. Again, I’m a former bass player, so what a filmmaker can do with sound appeals to me because my ears pick up on that. The little incidental noises are often missed in life, so when you’re lacking music and speech, you have no choice but to focus on them. When you can then substitute music for dialogue – to the point that you don’t realize that no one’s talking until halfway through the film – you’ve done something right. It made the voice over more effective when we finally got it.
This film also had some hope thrown in there, which can be tough to have as a theme because it can go too syrupy way too fast. I loved the performance of Osamu Tsuji, who played the unnamed main character with a straight-faced performance that I could never accomplish. It spoke to tendencies within me. Given, I’m not as bad as our unnamed main character, but I’m one of those people that has to have things in the order I deem correct, and this film doesn’t make me feel poorly about that aspect of myself. The struggle some of us face is that others will deride something we really can’t help about ourselves. It’s usually a laugh or a raised eyebrow and a head shake, followed by a, “Why do you do that like that?” That the main character’s speech at the end is both so tranquil and accepting is moving. In the end, he finds his perfect fit of a job, just as he always knew he would. There’s hope for us all.