As the Gods Will (神さまの言うとおり), 2014
Oh my God, please return my tedious everyday.
ActorsStarring: Sota Fukushi, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Hirona Yamazaki, Mio Yuki, Jingi Irie, Shota Sometani, Nao Omori, Nijiro Murakami, Dôri Sakurada, Lily Franky, Atsuko Maeda, Ryûhei Ueshima, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Ryosuke Yamamoto, Minori Hagiwara, Sasuke Otsuru, 髙橋 直人, Jimon Terakado, Katsuhiro Higo, Reiko Takashima, Nobue Iketani, Yuuka Suzuki, Sakichi Satô, Takayuki Yanagi, Rena Shimura
The synopsis to this toy store killing machine immediately brings an earlier Japanese film to mind, the ruthless and fumingly shocking Battle Royale, 2000 from auteur Kinji Fukasaku (Tora! Tora! Tora!, 1970). However Miike‘s film-cunning and dice rolls are perhaps simply far more simple than the keen viewer would like to imagine. Simple thus unworried, assured, extremely dark-humored, filled with rapid-fire philosophy and at least six blood banks blown to pieces.
Take the sound editing for instance. We know what has happened despite the event not being shown and instead replaced by an elementary sound or a children’s song. As the Gods Will is a director’s nightmare, a feat only someTHING like Miike can execute.
Splattered with a plethora of psyched out colours and one of the few films where the CGI works like the crown wheel of the Oyster Perpetual, Miike’s direction feels more confident as his obsession with Anime/Manga and Nao Ômori (Ichi the Killer, 2001) grows into a playful bear, the size of two Transformers, when they’re not vehicles.
This film is filled with surreal images and evidently decapitated mannequins with floored extras mixed in with the lot. It is Maze Runner meets The Running Man inside Miike’s Daedalian head. Perhaps that is an overstatement, probably I’m still thinking; ‘but seriously, what’s the deal here?’.
However it may be, Miike has paid homage to ancient Japanese films of gore… I mean yore. Well not really, this seems more like the stop motion films from the Golden Age of Japanese cinema and director Ishiro Honda – but As the Gods Will is sort of an anti thesis to those films in terms of the antagonist’s dramatic representation and mushrooming.
The director’s films are far from subtle, including this elephant cannibal baby; however this time there is a certain calm undercurrent to the approach and style of the hypermanic Takashi Miike.
A strangely entertaining film that must be watched to further strengthen faith in the art of cinema, and how!