After visiting the festival in 2013 with the short film Wandering Alien Detective Robin (which you can view here), beginning director Lisa Takeba returned to this year’s edition with her first feature film The Pinkie; an energetic, over the top and fun debut that has something for everyone. Bringing the audience a mix of comedy, sci-fi, drama, a twist of craziness and even some bloody action, The Pinkie surely is an enjoyable 65 minute ride.
The story follows Ryosuke (Ryota Ozawa), a guy who since the age of 5 has to deal with stalker Momoko (Miwako Wagatsuma), a girl that just can’t leave him alone. She adores him and even had plastic surgery to be Ryosuke’s type, but he wants nothing to do with her. Ryosuke tries to win the heart of a gangster’s girl (Haruka Suenaga), which brings him quite a lot of trouble. It even leads to a yakuza gang leader (Kanji Tsuda) cutting off Ryosuke’s pinkie, which then comes in the possession of Momoko. She uses this pinkie to create a clone of Ryosuke, so she can finally have him all for herself… And this is just the beginning.
Clearly influenced by manga and popular culture, director Takeba takes all kinds of colorful elements, mixes them together, and out comes The Pinkie. The movie isn’t afraid to get absurd every now and then and goes happily over the top with its humor and situations. This turns the story in a film that delivers the viewer a certain level of craziness that you like or dislike. It is all squeezed into 65 minutes, and it’s quite impressive to see how it all fits in there.
The film is made with a lot of fun and this is very noticeable throughout. The plot involves some fun and goofy characters, with the cruel yakuza gang leader played by Kanji Tsuda as one of my favorites. These characters light up the film and bring the story to life in an entertaining fashion. Pinkie was clearly made with a lower budget, and this shows sometimes, but it also adds to the charm. Director Takeba has used the resources she had well and has succeeded in creating a rich and colorful world. The action in the film reminds of productions like Machine Girl (2008) or Robo-Geisha (2009), and contains a certain kind of special effects that are well known to people who have seen more films like this. The fights get bloody and absurd, in a crazy fun way.
All in all, The Pinkie is a fun, over the top film that feels like a nice tribute to many genres, but also manages to be original in its own entertaining way. Because of its short length, the film never has a dull moment and keeps going full throttle from beginning to end. At the festival I was able to interview director Lisa Takeba, so stayed tuned to read that on the site soon!