Enigmatic Mamoru lives alone with his poisonous, hauntingly luminous jellyfish. When he is arrested for murdering his boss, a young co-worker who is fascinated and influenced by Mamoru starts caring for his jellyfish and befriends his father with an aim to become his surrogate son.
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Having been a disaffected youth with no direction in life, I can say that it doesn't have anything to do with a particular generation. I'm 55 which means I'm a Baby Boomer. Even when you do find a direction in life it's always a compromise.
Kurosawa's delightfully off-kilter sense of narrative momentum remains in Bright Future, but his disciplined mis-en-scene is missing. Experimenting with digital video replaces tightly composed static shots with an improvisational handheld feel. Kurosawa's metaphysical strangeness and sincere interest in human connection is always intriguing, but without his well-defined mis-en-scene Bright Future feels neutered.
"The first rule of Red Jellyfish Club..."
At its heart, this film is misanthropic. Nihilistic may be too extreme a term, but there are elements of that as well. The young 'droogs' in the latter part of the film are out of place, mostly because the Tyler Durden role in this film was actually another person.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I rooted for the jellyfish more than for Nimura (who was silent at the end).
Despite the illogical characters ("how do u know it's poison if u never touched?" why would Nimura kill & Mamoru clairvoyant? "u said do your best so give me 10 million now" & such wire in prison...) and potato low-budget low-light scenes that hurt my eyes, I could faintly make out some outsourcing symbolism and unrooted despair that newer generations feel in a society of seemingly stalled progress.
Wonderfully aimless alongside our protagonist with some deep human study underneath. The thing that really kept me from fully immersing is the camera work, which varies significantly between scenes and often looks fairly cheap.