Next up is the O double feature! Took a little while to get it done but here we are! The first is a British drama adaptation called On Chesil Beach and the second is a Japanese horror comedy called One Cut of the Dead. Let’s check it out!
On Chesil Beach (2017)
Director: Dominic Cooke
Cast: Billy Howle, Saoirse Ronan, Anne-Marie Duff, Adrian Scarborough, Emily Watson
Based on Ian McEwan’s novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. – IMDB
On Chesil Beach is a British drama adaptation of a novella of the same name by Ian McEwan. The story is executed as a parallel between the past of each of these characters and the day of the newlyweds first night of honeymoon on Chesil Beach. This sort of execution is rather familiar to a lot of stories like this featuring some kind of bittersweet ending. However, its also a good way to tell a story of the issues that pulls them apart while highlighting their character personalities. In fact, the execution of On Chesil Beach is done rather well. Its engaging to see the subtle nuances of what bothers them and what ends up driving them apart after a things don’t go as expected on their wedding night.
If we talk about characters, there is a lot more depth to the girl Florence even if the story is actually not so much about her as it is about him, Edward played by Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle respectively. Saoirse Ronan portrays Florence really well, giving her this natural character who tries to please the people around her but faced with her issues towards sex because of her past, the inner struggle is shown in her own subtle ways they build to her big “reaction”. On the other hand, Billy Howle as Edward is one that I can’t quite decide whether its the character Edward that that I don’t like with his own set of deeper problems and ridiculous about of pride and self-esteem issues that make him think about being the victim and everyone out to embarrass or look down on him. His character is a tad frustrating watch as you can see the deeper character elements.
On Chesil Beach spans over 40 years or something of these two characters where the last part is final act is mostly jumping through 2 different times in between to 2007 to where the two find some kind of resolution. On one hand, its a nice thing that this isn’t about Florence since that would yet again be about damaged women and such but at the same time, Edward’s character seems to have some sudden enlightenment as he gets older but it all comes in a disjointed way since there’s not a lot of build-up. Its really focused on the first part and then the final act sends the point but there’s this lack of something that pushes this story to be more engaging than it probably should be.
One Cut of the Dead (2017)
Director (and screenplay writer): Shinichiro Ueda
Cast: Takayuki Hamatsu, Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, Mao
Things go badly for a hack director and film crew shooting a low budget zombie movie in an abandoned WWII Japanese facility, when they are attacked by real zombies. – IMDB
*Originally as part of Friday Film Club*
Right when we think that zombie and horror movies are overdone and nothing new can possibly come from this subgenre, One Cut of the Dead turns it around and creates almost a three in one movie experience that truly is a hilarious ride through and through and takes it in unexpected directions adding so much charm and detail. Its not wonder that One Cut of the Dead ended up making box office history when the film earned over a thousand times its budget which was possible due to a cast of unknown actors and eight days of shooting.
One Cut of the Dead has a simple premise and is partially inspired by Ryoichi Wada’s stage play, Ghost in the Box. A cast and crew is sent to do a low-budget zombie film for a new channel airing on TV live and has to be done in one shot. As they film in the abandoned water filtration plant, the director (Takayuki Hamatsu) ends up leaving the set after an argument with the cast. That’s when zombies start to appear to chase down the cast and crew. This is when the director appears delighted to see the effect he wanted and insists on continuing to film.
For a cast which is unknown and fairly inexperienced where they all took acting workshops with a drama school for 2 months prior to filming, every single cast member delivers on all levels. The originality of the script makes it feel like a genuine experience and has so much detail to every single twist that adds another level to the story. Its an one of a kind horror comedy full of satire. Honestly, its a viewing experience and is best watch as blind as possible to enjoy the little surprises.
On a side note, in the phase of the current pandemic, the cast of One Cut of the Dead did a remote version of the movie called One Cut of the Dead Mission: Remote, filming in their own homes as the character in One Cut of the Dead and put it on Youtube to bring some laughter to everyone. Its definitely one to check out, especially after you watch One Cut of the Dead.
That’s it for this double feature!
Have you seen these two (or three) movies? Thoughts?