Wow, talk about a wacky comedy! This story is about a comet which is due to hit the earth in a matter of hours and how a song from 1975 called Fish Story will save the world in 2012. If that was hard enough to make sense for you, I’ll kick it up a notch by telling you that director Yoshihiro Nakamura’s film spans multiple decades in less than two hours running time. Fish story is exactly the kind of film that big production companies avoid because the story is all hit or miss. The wacky premise is made all the more refreshing by including barely any CGI. Going through the movie, the viewer is shown different stories without knowing what is going on or how they factor in to the main narrative.
For those that like their movies to unravel slowly, you’re in luck! Fish Story is a slow burner, and has a non-linear way of telling a story similar to Pulp Fiction. In the end, we find out that everything is connected, but Nakamura keeps the truth under wraps right up to the finish, making the slow pace bareable and very, very compelling at times. There are hints and clues as to what might happen next, but a time change or a scenario jerker always keeps us from guessing what will happen next correctly. I can always appreciate a film that keeps me on my toes and Fish Story was such a film.
But what’s charming about Fish Story is that the four time periods that it visits, the four stories that it tells are in essence four different genre films. It was like getting four films for the price of one! Any film that has that kind of element will always be plagued by one element being stronger then the other but Nakamura draws so many fine performances from his actors in the other strands of the film, it doesn’t matter much. Although the acting is on point for the most part I did have a few gripes with the script. In places, the dialogue is appallingly dull. Once you can look past that small hinderance, it felt all the better for investing my time in it.
I know a film about a punk rock band saving the world seems pretty juvenile, however, as off-putting as it all may sound, it’s held together a ton of energy. You could even go so far as to say it is aggressively quirky, but it achieves a fine balance. Fish Story is a very effective comedy whose characters are brilliantly colored and acted adeptly. Consider me a huge fan of this film as I recommend this to all who read. Fish Story is a winner!