(TORONTO, ON) – Quirky, Delightful, and Puzzling. Cinéfranco Toronto Film Festival 2015 opens up on April 10 with the beautifully shot Tokyo Fiancée. Amélie is a quirky 20 year-old born in Japan and raised there until her parents returned to Belgium, when she was five.
Amélie returns to Tokyo, wanting nothing more than to write and be Japanese. She meets handsome Rinri who wishes to have Amélie become his French tutor.
Of course, you just know what’s going to happen.
French films are not that unique. Perhaps, the best part of the film is that we experience Tokyo and environs with Amélie and Rinri and it’s a very personal and charming journey that just may shatter your stereotypical mass, urban, soulless, metropolis we think is Tokyo.
It has many quaint and beautiful neighbourhoods. A mega travelogue.
Rinri comes from a wealthy family who views Amélie with a degree of suspicion, particularly Rinri’s spooky looking mother. Is Rinri’s father a Yakuza?
The romance progresses with the mandatory bare breasted lovemaking scenes. Everything is going so well.
All of us viewers are happily devouring Tokyo and the torrid romance, however Amélie starts to become a bit off key. Something is not quite right.
One never gets the sense of what is amiss.
Clever Franco film making has left me wondering what on earth have I missed. Could it be the simple message there is no such thing as perfect love. Is love always flawed? Sorry. I can’t answer that one for you.
Then the 2014 Tokyo earthquake hits and Amélie is persuaded to head back to Belgium.
Is the earthquake symbolic of a rift between Amélie and Rinri? It must be as, shortly after, she hears he has married the daughter of a French general.
Rinri was not a Yakuza but a member of a secret French admiration society. Belgian is not French. So, the conclusion of the film is tress samurai Japponais.
A wink, nod, and a thrust?
That wink will puzzle me for some time to come.
Poor Amélie. Is it hari kari emotionally or for real? If it’s for real then she truly fulfilled her wish of becoming Japanese.
(Tokyo Fiancée, Canada, France, Belgium, 2015, 100 minutes, Director Stefan Liberski, Cinéfranco Film Festival 2015, April 10, 2015, 7:00 pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Toronto)