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*Raindance Preview Review* Boys on the Run [2010] dir Daisuke Miura



"Boys on the Run" (ボーイズ・オン・ザ・ラン) is most definitely a strange beast. The debut feature of successful theatre director, Daisuke Miura and starring Kazunobu Mineta (The Shonen Merickensack, Oh My Buddha) in the main role. Based on a manga of the same name, as many Japanese films are. 

 The description attached to it does not even come near to describing what this film really is - "A dementedly hilarious sex-comedy about a 29-year-old virgin obsessed with porn, who falls for his new co-worker."

I have a hard time thinking of this film as an hilarious sex-comedy. Yes, it has sex. Yes, it has some elements of comedy, but mostly embarrassing moments that make the viewer cringe rather than laugh. It is a somewhat interesting viewing, because the main character is not the most likeable guy, the girl he falls in love with is neither or, in fact, anyone in the entire film. However, as with many Japanese films, there is this fascination with the characters themselves instead of the plot which is probably what salvages this film. Although Tanishi, the main character is not likeable, he is still interesting to watch. He is awkward and dogged.

There are a few references to "Taxi Driver" - Tanishi's poster of the film in his room, when he gets a mohawk towards the end of the film - which are probably denoting Tanishi's detachment from society, his whole life probably something like Travis' Vietnam experience. For Tanishi, his life is the traumatising experience he has been through and he tries to transcend that by falling in love with Chiharu, but being socially clueless, he does not know how to handle her and blunders, time after time. 

 This film is not for everyone, but it's an easy-ish watch because you are never really allowed to grow attached to anyone.