Home Dc Movies Fantasia Fest: RIVER Is a Humorous, Charming, Life-Affirming Time-Loop Romance

Fantasia Fest: RIVER Is a Humorous, Charming, Life-Affirming Time-Loop Romance

Fantasia Fest: RIVER Is a Humorous, Charming, Life-Affirming Time-Loop Romance


Just a few years in the past, through the second summer time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fantasia Worldwide Movie Competition’s digital programming gave us Past the Infinite Two Minutes. This indie from Japanese director Junta Yamaguchi was a one-take time-loop film which had one of many slickest gimmicks I’d ever seen. Forged of likable individuals, one small location, and webcams being the gateway to 2 minutes into the longer term. So cool and enjoyable. Now, on the 2023 Fantasia Fest, Yamaguchi is again with River, a riff on the identical two-minute time loop. Somewhat than a mobius strip like Past, this one is like Groundhog Day, two minutes at a time. It’s simply as successful, humorous, and cute.

This time round, the motion takes place within the beautiful and serene Fujiya Inn situated within the wintry valley of Kibune in Kyoto. Simply because the final company are getting ready to depart for the season and the workers are prepared to wash up, Mikoto (Riko Fijutani), one of many inn’s waitresses, takes a second of self-reflection by the babbling river out again. What then transpires is the following two minutes proceed to repeat, again and again and over, with none clear motive why. Every time it cycles again, Mikoto is again on the river. The workers of the inn have to determine what’s occurring, and how one can break it to the confused patrons.

Whereas the start of the film has a really conventional really feel, as soon as the time loops start, the digicam goes handheld and follows the motion, with out a minimize, till that two-minute loop finishes. It’s a completely spectacular feat which most of the forged, having been in Past, know very nicely. Because the loops proceed, the motion expands to extra locations in and across the inn because the characters be taught who’s affected and who isn’t. With time primarily stagnated, unstated hopes, goals, needs, and frustrations come to the floor for all of the totally different individuals.

The cast of time loop comedy River cheer what they think is the end of their plight.
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At occasions River is laugh-out-loud hilarious, because the packed Fantasia viewers will attest. The waitresses and proprietor, in conventional Japanese kimonos, need to shuffle as shortly as they will across the grounds of this inn to do no matter they should do earlier than the time resets. It’s particularly humorous how lengthy it takes them to be annoyed about it. They’re so nice and amenable about the entire thing for awhile. So long as the company are pleased! Even the seemingly extra upsetting moments develop into really hysterical given the general vibe and angle of everybody concerned. The forged is excellent, prime to backside. So good, so humorous.

Finally the story revolves round Mikoto whose almost-boyfriend Eiji (Yoshifumi Sakai), a trainee chef on the inn. He plans to maneuver to France to check French delicacies and hasn’t advised her. Arguing in two minute chunks could be very foolish, however finally the 2 resolve to make this loop final so long as it might. They attempt to run so far as they will get earlier than it loops once more. It’s really one of many extra cute happenings in a film in current reminiscence. It speaks to these final moments of youth earlier than maturity takes over. You attempt to retain the carefree till you bodily can’t anymore.

I adored River. Whereas I can’t say it’s higher than Past the Infinite Two Minutes, it’s a stunning companion piece. The romantic comedy angle, vaguely current in Past, involves the fore in River. The sooner film has against the law angle at a sure level which labored nicely sufficient. Right here it’s all about character and I believe, whereas the gimmick is much less authentic, I favor the character comedy over the sci-fiery.

Positively hunt down River as quickly as you possibly can, it’s one you’ll wish to watch many times. Maybe on a loop.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You could find his movie and TV opinions right here. Observe him on Instagram and Letterboxd.



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