Film Review: Funuke: Show Some Love you Losers!

By Amanda Kim

“Funuke: Show Some Love you Losers!” centers on the Wago family as they deal with various hardships individually in this seriocomic film. Although the film opens up with a tragic car accident scene, the film slowly develops to create some comedic drama while dealing with serious issues that later reveals to be a form of acceptance and peace.

After Kiyomi and Shinji loses their parents to a tragic car accident, Sumika, the other sister of the Wago family comes home to the country side to temporarily quit her dream of an actress and to retrieve her parents’ inheritance, only to find that their family left them with their debt to be paid off. Unfortunate as that sounds, Sumika moves into her room and begins to keep herself busy by writing hand written letters to a director/writer who is working on a new screenplay for a new coming actress can feature in his film.

Upon learning that Sumika is returning home, Kiyomi begins to get an asthma attack and panics. By the continuous moments of Kiyomi reaching for her inhaler after she interacts with Sumika, shows that her relationship with her sister is rather uneasy and uncomfortable. Sumika’s egotistical behavior of disobeying her father’s response to her acting career is disastrous. After her father castigates Sumika about her inability of becoming an actress, Sumika violently goes after her father with a knife and threatens to kill him. As Sumika aims to kill her father, Shinji holds her back and later gets injured. Saddened by this, Sumika threatens to kill herself if she couldn’t become an actress. Sumika flees to Tokyo follow her dream. In all that, Shinji acts as a savior and puts Sumika out of her misery by keeping his promise of sending money to her and to be by her side at all times.

Inspired by Sumika’s violent behavior and ambition of becoming an actress, Kiyomi creates a manga which is later published and everyone in the country side is aware that it is Sumika who is the evil character in the manga. Scarred and shocked by the manga, it is hard for Sumika to easily forgive Kiyomi after she numerously tries to find ways to humiliate her by ordering her to write songs about how great she is and recite it to the whole village. This is one of the ways Sumika tries to inflict pain on Kiyomi through humility.

Passively aware of this, Shinji seems to always give into Sumika and her spoiled ways. As Sumika gets her own ways by seducing her step brother, Shinji instead causes anger towards her wife Machiko, as she too accepts Shinji’s tough, rigid behavior and continues to serve Shinji to keep him satisfied. Machiko is never affected by Shinji, even when he sent her to the hospital after he throws soba noodle sauce on her face and in result, having her damage her eye.

The relationship between Sumika and Kiyomi turn sour once Shinji commits suicide after he sees that Kiyomi caught him and Sumika being intimate. Even though Sumika relied on Shinji, she goes passed that and seems oblivious to a tragedy of another death in the family.

When a package arrives for Kiyomi, she asks Machiko to open up the envelope and to read it aloud so that Sumika can hear. Machiko takes out a manga series that Kiyomi published. Kiyomi reveals that her manga is recognized by the writers and is asked for her to come to Tokyo to write another series. With the prize money that Kiyomi won, she tells Sumika that she will live in Tokyo. When Sumika asked what the manga was about, Kiyomi boldly tells Sumika that it was about her failure to achieve her dreams as an actress. Overly angered by this, Sumika approaches Kiyomi with a knife and reprimands that she takes back what she said about her terrible acting and how a director is willing to let her star in his upcoming film. Kiyomi then exposes that it was she who wrote all the letters to Sumika as the director and fool her to say that she is the funniest one who fell for her tricks. Sumika swiftly jabs a knife into Kiyomi as the scene then transforms into a manga series of how Sumika tries to win over her story and kill Kiyomi. However in reality, Kiyomi laughs at Sumika’s attempt when she finds out that Kiyomi is not dead because she stabbed her with a plastic toy knife. Kiyomi then brushes Sumika to the side and pities her, calling her the “funniest” one of all.

Kiyomi makes her way out the door and later gets on the bus to go to Tokyo. Before the film can end on a happier note of Kiyomi achieving her dream, the director Yoshida makes use of the symbolism of a cat to emphasize the cat’s purpose and representation When the bus driver stops suddenly, because a cat the bus door opens and Sumika appears and gets on to approach Kiyomi.

Disgusted by Sumika, Kiyomi runs out of the bus and runs into the field where Sumika chases and pins her down. The last dialogue of the film said by Sumika was, “If you’re going to turn me into manga, see it through the end! The funniest part is yet to come”. By concluding this dialogue, it shows that she accepted Kiyomi and that in order for her to write more of her manga series, she needs to keep her sister around for ideas. Even Kiyomi accepts this and calls a truce between her relationship with Sumika by sketching a normal picture of her sleeping ever so peacefully.

Although the film allures some dark and disturbing images of the car accident and the attempt to murder for revenge and power, it also has a comedic aspect to it in which Machiko finally finds a way to take charge and finally make love to Shinji after all the years that they were married. The last sequence also gives out a laugh when Machiko believes that she’s psychic and is trying to get a fan to work without it being plugged in.

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