Survive Style 5+ is quirky, odd, humorous, well-acted, and probably could only ever be made in Japan. This is NOT a film for everyone. Violence, sex, weird humor, and a plot line that loops around on itself, eating it’s own tail… regardless, you are guaranteed to have a truly unique experience with this film. It will leave you speechless and hungering for others to discuss it with. Survive Style 5+ is the kind of film someone would only enjoy if they also enjoy the complex interconnectedness of Guy Ritchie’s films.
The synopsis kind of breaks down like this, five seperate stories somehow come together: A man kills and buries his wife only to find her alive when he arrives home over and over again. Second, a salaryman, with a wife and two kids, sees a famous hypnotist only to be permanently turned into a man who thinks he’s a chicken. Also an advertising executive loses it and comes up with some of the most vulgar commercials ever seen; A gang of young criminals find out they have homosexual tendencies and lastly, an English assassin looks for new clients. Survive Style 5+ is the kind of film that is rarely made because it is so out of the box that producers and financiers have no interest in taking a chance on it. a little bit like Crash in the sense that there are a lot of different stories that are in the movie and that they all intertwine together in the end. When this movie ended I wasn’t really sure that I had watched, and I really had to think about it before I realized what the movie theme was about.
The way the five different situations are somehow linked or cross paths with each other is silly but believable, in the context of the weirdness of this movie, and the cast is excellent, exceeding my expectations by a mile. If the plot doesn’t interest, the characters and their actors/actresses most definitely will. It is an anime with real actors and real setting, it is a film with cartoon characters and cardboard settings. It is a Kaleidescope, where you watch people and places rather than shifting shapes. Each thread has a sense of the absurd to it, with real people placed into increasingly wacky situations.
The story of Survive Style 5+ is really secondary to the manic chaos that plays out on screen. The publicity will tell you that it’s like nothing you’ll have experienced before, and for once they’re actually right. You just have to see it. The characters all deal with their own corporate or sociological battlers; whether it is discrimination, marital issues or sexism, everyone tries to survive in their own unique way. In my opinion it is what makes this a very alluring movie. Bazaar cinema is back and it has officially grabbed my attention. Survive Style 5+ is a winner and one that will hold up in repeat viewings. Great film on all levels.