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Japan Review: Doesn't Work at All

Japan Review: Doesn't Work at All

Movie: Japan
Rating: 2/5
Dream Warrior Pictures
Cast: Karthi, Anu Emmanuel, Sunil, Vijay Milton, Jithan Ramesh, KS Ravikumaru and others.
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
DOP: S. Ravi Varman
Editor: Philomin Raj
Producers: S R Prakash Babu, S R Prabu
Directed by: Rajumurugan
Release Date: Nov 10, 2023

The "Japan" trailer was entertaining. Aside from that, Karthi is in fantastic form after superhit films like "Ponniyan Selvan." No wonder that "Japan" had the upper hand among this weekend's releases.

Has the movie lived up to this promise?

Japan (Karthi) is a jewel thief who is responsible for numerous high-profile robberies at most prestigious jewelry stores. He has a fascination for acting in movies. He takes all his hard-earned cash and uses it to make and star in movies. Most of them are streamed on YouTube.

He is also responsible for the introduction of Sanju Kutty (Anu Emmanuel), a heroine who goes on to become top actress but now ignores his calls.

Meanwhile, jewellery worth Rs 200 crore were taken from the store of the state Home Minister, and the police are looking for the person responsible.

While police believe it is the work of Japan, but in actuality he didn't do this particular heist. Who, therefore, has used names and imitated his methods? How did he get the name - Japan? Why did he turn to a life of crime?

Artistes’ Performances:
Karthi has already demonstrated that he has great comic timing and this film gives him another platform to show off his peculiar style of comedy. He has entirely changed his acting style and Telugu delivery. Karthi’s performance and his comic dialogues are the best part of this movie.

After Karthi, Sunil shines in the role of a cop. Anu Emmanuel plays a heroine’s role, but her character doesn’t have a proper arc.

Technical Excellence:
With his framing and camerawork, Ravi Varman has given the film a new style. The story does not allow for spectacular cinematography, but Ravi Varman adds his touch.

The songs by GV Prakash Kumar are disappointing. The editing needed to be sharper.

Karthi’s acting
Couple of comedy portions

Unconvincing narration
Script lacks strength
Many sequences make no sense
The second half

"Japan" kicks off with a heist sequence, followed by Karthi's amusing entry. Initially, the audience finds more entertainment in Karthi's comedy and spoof moments than in the story and setting. He cleverly comments on reviewers, filmmaking, and social media.

One particularly funny episode involves Karthi acting in a YouTube movie and paying a theater owner to screen it daily, despite the absence of an audience. The comedy lines and spoof elements captivate the audience in the first half. However, as the film attempts to delve into its main plot, its shortcomings become apparent.

A lengthy episode follows about a man making a living by collecting dust from drains and searching for gold particles. Unfortunately, this segment drags on without much impact.

The film underscores how innocent individuals, who collect gold flecks from drains, face persecution from the police whenever a major heist occurs. The police manipulate these people to confess to crimes they did not commit.

To juxtapose the central theme with the hero’s journey of becoming a thief, the director portrays Karthi’s character as a burglar who speaks in filmy phrases and leads a cool life.

However, the film lacks a genuine conflict and a well-defined antagonist, making the second half tedious. While the climax is noteworthy, the remainder of the second half fails to hold interest.

Several sequences make little sense and are included solely for laughs, such as a doctor informing Karthi that he has HIV. However, HIV's impact on Karthi's life is not explored beyond a few jokes. Anu Emmanuel's role is introduced late in the plot and ends abruptly.

Apart from enjoying Karthi's comedic performance and unique dialogue delivery, "Japan" lacks conviction and loses its fun quotient in the second half. Overall, “Japan” proves to be a disappointment.

Bottom line: Not Worth a Watch

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