Gravity’s Clowns is a haunting tale about a Japanese family where a current series of graffiti events paves the way to unraveling an unexpected family truth. This is one of the best mystery films I have seen in recent years. In particular, the primary characters are the family’s two brothers, played by Kase and Masaki Okada. We learn later in the film that in truth, one of the children, is illegitimate by the result of the hands of a brutal rapist.
The plot is definetely adult orientated and tackles some pretty strong themes. For what the script demands from them, however, the actors do a terrific job. Ultimately, its a good film but it juggles way to many different emotions and character points. Gravity’s Clowns dialogue favors gentle naturalism over characters breaking down and blurting out feelings. This means you must pay attention to the film and if you break concentration, even for a minute, you may become lost. After the initial set up of the film you’ll witness some horrifying tragic events. Memories of pain get rehashed when one of the brothers witnesses a girl getting raped and he quickly acts as her savior as he rescues her with a baseball bat.
It’s a strange movie, the kind that leads you to expect one thing, then offers something else in its stead once you’ve committed. This having been said, the plot does meander somewhat, and frequently heads off on odd tangents, as the director does seem more interested in his characters than in the actual rape itself. The final product is yet another example of the director’s trademark versatility, as well as a new entry in his own pioneering Asian mystery subgenre. The film is all about a loss of reference and people roaming about in search of the good life. I’m sure that you will be glued to your seat.
You’ll notice, though, that I haven’t said you should expect a wall-to-wall actioner or a blow-you-away climax from Gravity’s Clowns. Mystery genre aside, you will probably see how this one ends. Unfortunately, as the end draws near, some more clear direction would have been greatly appreciated. For my money, although it has its problems, this is one of the better Japanese mystery films of recent years. This is a difficult film to describe. It’s not a great movie but its not a bad one either. If it was just a plain old run of the mill film I would have been bored, but the added mystery elements really lift this from being mediocre.