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Boys on the Run

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Boys on the Run

(Boizu on za ran)

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2010
  • 114 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese with English subtitles
Official Selection, Udine Far East Film Festival 2010
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2010

Genre

DramaComedy

Screening Times

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“Miura... has his own sense of timing, delivering his punch lines and payoffs at odd moments and angles — and getting bigger laughs as a result” — Mark Schilling, JAPAN TIMES

Credits

Director: Daisuke Miura
Screenplay: Daisuke Miura, from Kengo Hanazawa
Cast: Kazunobu Mineta, Mei Kurokawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, You
Producers: Yasuhiro Masaoka, Takeshi Sawa, Hitoshi Endo
Print Source: Pictures Dept.

Cinemabox

Description

Tanishi (Kazunobu Mineta) is a 29-year-old toy-capsule salesman. Shy, introverted and socially inept, he spends his time obsessing over his pretty co-worker and watching porn movies. His awkwardness has a strong negative effect on his career as well and he finds his products being overshadowed by those of a flashier competitor. Bullied and put down by everyone around him, he suddenly finds his whole life turned upside down when he strikes up a friendship with his competitor, a good-looking salesman named Aoyama (Ryuhei Matsuda). To his surprise, Aoyama shares many of his feelings toward their work, though he seems better equipped to handle it, being gifted with a fair amount of charm. With his new friend’s encouragement, he begins to make headway in developing a relationship with the girl of his dreams, although not without some complications thrown in by her best friend, a sex worker with a heart of gold. Things really get difficult when he realizes not all is as he believed and he must deal with betrayal, treachery and humiliation. What happens when an easy-going nerd reaches the breaking point?

BOYS ON THE RUN is a coming-of-age comedy based on the popular manga by Kengo Hanazawa, which ran for four years and sold more than 600,000 units. His work is perfectly suited to director Daisuke Miura, whose work, both in the theatre and on film, always revolves around rather sordid sexual themes as he portrays men and women in such gritty settings as love hotels and sex-industry clubs. His straightforward, no-nonsense approach to filmmaking gives BOYS ON THE RUN an almost documentary feeling as we follow the misadventures of the main character. And what a character he is! A well-crafted script and an outstanding performance by Kazunobu Mineta join together to produce what may very well be the biggest loser in the history of cinema. Whenever you think he’s reached the lowest, most uncomfortable level of self-inflicted suffering a human being can endure, he finds a way to further ridicule and humiliate himself, dragging the viewer along for the ride. Because the truth is, we can’t help but get caught up in his life and experience every traumatic emotion with him. After all, aren’t we all nerds at some point?

—Robert Guillemette

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