In theatres this week from director/writer David Zellner and Amplify Releasing comes the extraordinary journey of KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER.
Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi) is a young woman living a lonely life in Tokyo, Japan. Going to work as an Office Lady, Kumiko can not find a way out of the world she feels trapped in. During a walk on the beach she finds the VHS of the movie FARGO and becomes obsessed.
A scene in the film where a suitcase filled with money is buried in the snow of Fargo, North Dakota, Kumiko believes it is a treasure waiting for her to dig up. Day after day dealing with her boss, he asks her to go buy his wife a gift giving Kumiko the company credit card.
Now the plan takes shape as she takes a plane ride landing in Minnesota but the credit card is frozen and so is the wilderness! She meets a policeman (played by David Zellner) who wants nothing more than to help Kumiko but also breaks the news to her that there is no treasure.
Nothing is going to stop her from finding the treasure of her dreams!
FINAL WORD: My first exposure to this clearly amazing actress is in the 2006 film BABEL. Her resume is filled with roles that continue to show her chops. As the Witch in the 2013 film 47 RONIN, I just loved her grace – even if she is a witch! In that same year she took the role of Mako Mori in Guillermo Del Torro’s futuristic gigantor robotics flic PACIFIC RIM.
Other cast include: Nobuyuki Katsube as Sakagami, Shirley Venard as the Older Woman, Nathan Zellner as Robert, Kanako Higashi as Michi, Ichi Kyokaku as the Library Security Guard, and Brad Prather as Brad.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. What a total mind bending journey with so little said.
David and Nathan Zellner have been writing for more than a decade out of Austin, Texas. KUMIKO, THE TREASURE HUNTER prmiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards for Best Actress and Best Director.
The cinematography is nothing short of amazing, especially the dark walk in the North Dakota woods but equally stellar is the intense music in that same scene. It is just frightening as the score grows loud and intense to a silence that is equally as deafening.