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Bright Future (2005)

Tatsuya Fuji , Tadanobu Asano , Kiyoshi Kurosawa  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tatsuya Fuji, Tadanobu Asano, Takashi Sasano, J Odagiri, Marumi Shiraishi
  • Directors: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007GADX6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,861 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Friends Mamoru and Yuji are aimless young men stuck in dead-end jobs in a dreary factory in Tokyo. Mamoru, the more antisocial of the two, is obsessed with his pet project of acclimating a poisonous jellyfish to fresh water by gradually changing the water in its tank. One night, he inexplicably murders his boss’ family and is sentenced to death. Yuji, left to continue the jellyfish experiment, befriends Mamoru’s estranged father, and the two form a bond. But Yuji’s attachment to the jellyfish is even stronger, and problems arise when he accidentally releases the poisonous creature into the canals of Tokyo

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Many viewers look at Bright Future and throw up their hands in

confusion, even those who admire Kurosawa's style. I've thought a lot

about this movie and I don't think its intentions are that obscure,

though I confess it can be inaccessible. It's just that Kurosawa's

approach is VERY contrary to how Westerners understand film.

Bright Future examines the disillusionment of Japanese youth towards

their parents' generation, and, in turn, their parents' feelings of

failure towards their children. Throughout, a poisonous red jellyfish

symbolizes disaffected youth, drifting along silently, not threatening

unless you cross their path.

Namura and Arita are two 20-somethings working at an industrial

laundry. Namura is apathy itself. He cherishes his dreams of a "bright

future," but in his daily life, he barely registers much more than a

blank stare. He's such a loser he even sucks at his few hobbies; the

one time he goes out to an arcade with his upwardly-mobile sister and

her yuppie boyfriend, the boyfriend casually kicks Namura's ass at

games Namura plays constantly. On his lone trips to a nearby bowling

alley, Namura rolls mostly gutters.

Arita, Namura's only friend, is more mysterious, with a placid surface

underneath which lurks hints of menace. Arita's sole hobby is the care

of his pet jellyfish, which he is trying to acclimate to fresh water.

Arita gives the clueless Namura hand signals (thumb inward means

"wait," finger pointing means "go ahead") so he'll avoid doing anything

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's finest films September 20, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Kiyoshi Kurosawa is becoming one of my favorite current filmmakers, and the further he gets from by-the-book J-horror (preferring to reach further into less categorizable reaches of his own cinematic imagination), the better I think he is.

Deeper meanings mingle with absurdist humor, and the kind of chance occurrences that enliven the fiction of Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami also figure heavily in Kurosawa's films; cinematically, everything from Lynch or Fellini to "Dirty Harry" can be a touchstone for further exploration.

BRIGHT FUTURE is like an improved CHARISMA - more refined, less loony, and considerably more poetic, but Kiyoshi Kurosawa's many thematic concerns - trashing of the environment, a sense of depersonalization (and discreet nihilism) in younger/future generations, the erosion of a society's cohesiveness (especially when that erosion originates within, and not from some external source) - are handled very well - the last shot offers his darkest and most ironic humor, with the cross-generational understanding becoming something quietly heroic evoking certain past masters of Japanese film. A sense that - if younger generations have drifted towards a nihilism that could destroy them or you, it is balanced by an equally withering take on the older generations that somehow let them down; this film in many ways visualizes the idea of getting over it, and moving on with life (after presenting some of the consequences for not doing so).

Tadanobu Asano's presence here is somewhat hyped (definitely on the DVD cover), undoubtedly due to his ascendant global stardom, but his performance here is eclipsed by co-stars Joe Odagiri and Tatsuya Fuji, who both deliver dynamic performances of great range and control.

Mysterious, poetic, beautifully shot (on DV), open to many interpretations, and one of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's finest.

-David Alston
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Lethal June 2, 2008
"Bright Future" fascinated the Japanese. It was named Best Film and its director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, (who is not related to the classic director Akira Kurosawa), won Best Director from the Japanese Professional Movie Awards (JPMA). The film was nominated for the Golden Palm @ Cannes in 2003. Tadanobu Asano who was interesting in Last Life in the Universe plays Mamoru Arita. His buddy is Yuji Nimura, played by Jo Odagiri who tied with Tatsuya Fuji for the Best Actor Award from the JPMA. Mamoru' father is played by Tatsuya Fuji.

"Bright Future" is a mystical film. I use that term in the sense that something other than logic is driving events. The film has a contingent plot structure with Mamoru's murder of his former boss seemingly coming abruptly and without explanation. The visual effects with the iridescent jellyfish are visually stunning. Perhaps Mamoru identifies with the jellyfish because they are beautiful & lethal. The ending sequence raised questions for me.

This film is well-paced, visually stunning, with strong performances and relationships between the main characters. Enjoy!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, AMAZING movie... March 4, 2005
By lisa
"Bright Future" is creepy, cryptic, post-modern, eerie, intense, spooky, ambiguous, slow-paced, intense and INCREDIBLE. It portrays the sort of quiet desperation that can start to sneak into our everyday lives. It's the sort of movie that stays with you, borderline haunting and I mean that in the best way possible. And besides, it has a really cool jellyfish. :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mirroring February 13, 2008
Kurosawa shows the inner struggle of young men and a conflict between the young and the old. This film reflects the modern Japanese society's revealed but not dealt problems. Symbolization and metaphors are poetic, cruel, and straightforward. It is worth watching to learn about the postmodern generation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fathomless rage
Best known for films like 'Cure' and 'Pulse' that chill the spine more than warm the heart, Kurosawa is the dark prince of the Japanese new wave. Read more
Published on July 3, 2011 by technoguy
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Kiyoshi Kurosawa-- of course it's good!
Bright Future (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2002)

Kiyoshi Kurosawa gets away from the niche he's carved out in the atmospheric-horror genre for this odd little comedy/drama that... Read more
Published on March 13, 2007 by Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 stars great look at modern Japan
Having lived in Japan, I connected with this film immmediately. I would say that this type of Japanese filmmaking is a lot like the soaps that air on Japanese television. Read more
Published on March 23, 2006 by Rich
4.0 out of 5 stars Donnie Darko and his pet jellyfish
This movie is worth watching just for the street "gang" in Che Guevara T-shirts. Post Modern Japan must be a very strange place-I wish I understood this movie better, but I did... Read more
Published on August 30, 2005 by Samus
3.0 out of 5 stars intriguing puzzle of a film, but what is it about?
I can see the maddeningly inscrutable "Bright Future" serving as the subject for some poor film school student's dissertation in a course entitled "The Use of Enigma and Symbolism... Read more
Published on April 24, 2005 by Roland E. Zwick
3.0 out of 5 stars Unleash Evil and Feel Good About It
This film ends with one of the most ironic shots I have ever seen. I won't spoil it here, only I'll say that those who are optimistic about our future should check out this film. Read more
Published on March 26, 2005 by Chris Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
this movie was great...I especially liked the whole poisonous jellyfish thing... I think that everyone should take a chance on this movie, it really is awesome!
Published on March 18, 2005 by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
By Kiyoshi Kurosawa, this movie is brilliant and twisted. It follows two anti-social guys. How they relate to eachother and how they react to the problems in life. Read more
Published on March 10, 2005 by Tim
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