If we think we’ve seen every possible variant of an alien invasion heralding the end of the world in a film then we should think again. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest feature, Foreboding, is a surprising and at times refreshingly humorous take on an inevitable apocalypse. Although coming from a unique and clearly defined point of view, it seems to falter with too many elements and a lack of chemistry that would have been vital to the harmony and the film’s impact.
In an interesting take on aliens in a genre that popularly paints extraterrestrials as intellectually superior reptilian monsters, Kurosawa’s aliens look exactly like us. What’s more, before they destroy the human race they want to learn everything about us. Dr Makabe (Masahiro Higashide) has been sent to earth to steal our “conceptions”. Family, pride, hatred, love, fear – all words with associated feelings that ultimately dictate the rules and commonly understood hierarchies in society. As he robs people of their conceptions and leaves destruction in his wake, the fate of humanity seems to rest in the hands of the only person immune to his power, Etsuko Yamagiwa (Kaho). When negotiations fail and the alien invasion begins, Etsuko makes a stand and demonstrates the most powerful of humanity’s conceptions: the power of love.
The messages that one walks away from Foreboding with are generally profound. They’re musings over the most abstract and deeply philosophical concepts we have as human beings, which when coupled with the somewhat ironic sci-fi narrative makes for an interesting juxtaposition. However, this juxtaposition becomes problematic without a strong driving force to help give the film a solid structure from which to operate. It seems to be an alien movie and a love story and a thriller all at once and the beautiful profoundness gets muddled as a result of an unclear direction for the plot to develop.
Furthermore, although the cast are individually talented, Kurosawa falls short in creating an inspiring sense of chemistry between his leading actors, which could have perhaps aided in the sense of urgency and overall poignancy of the movie. It’s an interesting concept but one that unfortunately fails to land.
Yocho (Foreboding) is released nationwide on 2018.
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Watch the trailer for Yocho (Foreboding) here: