Directed by Shinji Aoyama
Starring Kji Yakusho, Aoi Miyazaki, Masaru Miyazaki, Yoichiro Saito
Beautifully filmed in sepia tones Eureka is a slow moving drama with a running time of over three and a half hours. This could have easily been the snooze of the century, it isnt! Eureka is engaging, thought-provoking and captivating, it is one of the best modern Japanese films and destined to become a classic.
The film starts with a bus hijacking, the driver and two schoolchildren, brother and sister are the only survivors left after a violent shoot-out with the police. Two years down the line, the driver returns home after disappearing, we learn that the childrens mother walked out on them for another man and their father has since died. The driver tries to fit back into some sort of normality but finds it almost impossible, especially with rumours that he may be responsible for a spate of local serial killings.
Eventually he ends up at the house where the children still live, if he thought his life was irrepairable, nothing could have prepared him for the state of theirs. Their lives are so far beyond repair that he decides to try and help them back to reality. With the help and often hindrence of the childrens cousin who is staying in the house for a month the survivors try to claw their way back from the abyss, the final stage being a road trip in a small converted coach.
They may have survived the hijacking but they are still victims, the driver carries a heavy burden of guilt because he wasnt killed along with the majority of the passengers. The children also have the weight of the disintegration of their family to add to the memories of the hijacking. The acting never turns to melodrama, it's quietly understated and effective, very good performances all round.
Highly recommended if you have the time to spare and if you haven't, then make the time.
BBFC rated 15
Available on R2 Pal DVD from Artificial Eye, also available on R2 ntsc.