Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 15th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2007
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura
Writers: Yoshihiro Nakamura, Kenichi Suzuki, Kotaro Isaka (Novel)
Cast: Gaku Hamada, Eita, Megumi Seki, Ryûhei Matsuda, Kei Tamura
DVD released: January 14th, 2013
Approximate running time: 110 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Japanese
DVD Release: Third Window Films
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £11.00
Trying condense the events which take place in this film into an easy to digest synopsis is an insurmountable task. With that being said, the difficulty does not lie so much in the events which are unfolding on the screen, as much as it does with the way in which this film shows the viewer one thing only to take it right away.
Case in point, the way in which two actors start off as one character, only to exchange said characters with each other by the end of the film. Though jarring at first, this skewing of the reality or what it being now regarded as reality is what makes this film’s ultimate message resonate as well as it does.
At the core of this film’s narrative is a young man, who has recently enrolled in college and the eccentric next door neighbor that befriends him. From there the film sets off on a madcap adventure that alternates between events from the eccentric neighbors past and moments from the present which are now colliding with a tragedy from said past. Needless to say this is the type of film that demands multiple viewings for all of its nuances to fully appreciated.
The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker was directed by Yoshihiro Nakamura (Fish Story), who’s notable credits as a screenwriter include Doing Time and Dark Water. The screenplay for The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker was adapted from a novel written by Kotaro Isaka, who’s novel ‘Fisshu sutôrî’ was the aforementioned film adaptation Fish Story.
Though the plot for The Foreign Duck, the Native Duck and God in a Coin Locker does explore some darker subject matter. Most notably a subplot involving a group of young adults, who torture and kill animals. The generally tone of the film has a subversive humor to it. And fortunately while these too vibes are on opposite ends of the spectrum, this film’s does a pitch perfect job at making them coexist for the greater good of the story at hand.
From a production stand point there is not a single area of this film that I found lacking and in most instances this film actually excels in its various areas of this production. The visuals does a great job reinforcing the mood of the film. Pacing is never an issues as things always move along at a brisk pace. And the entire cast are exceptional in their respective roles, especially Eita (9 Souls, Monsters Club). Though he is given the task of portraying too vastly different characters and he proves in spades that he is up for the challenge and then some.
Third Window Films presents The Foreign Duck, Native Duck and God in the Coin Locker in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films intended aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black and contrast levels look good throughout. Outside of a few minor instances in which the image looks soft, the image for the most part looks sharp and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Japanese and this release comes with a option to watch it with or without English subtitles. Though this is primary a dialog driven film, range wise there is never an issue as the more ambient aspects of soundtrack are fully realized.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 40 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles), deleted scenes (16 minutes 34 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Japanese with English subtitles) and a ‘Making of’ featurette (35 minutes – 4:3 full frame, in Japanese with English subtitles), that includes comments from the cast and crew and plenty of onset footage. Overall The Foreign Duck, Native Duck and God in the Coin Locker gets a strong release from Third Window Films.