Film Review: Love, Life & Goldfish

My first review for the Glasgow Film Festival 2022

This has been my seventh musical this year and it is a testament to the quality of this movie that I am nowhere near sick of the genera. Love, Life & Goldfish is a wonderfully apt title, especially since the film deals with Love, Life,  Goldfish, and everything in between those three topics. The movie follows Makoto Kashiba a banker from the fast-paced Tokyo banking scene, after he blows up his superior he is relegated to a minor post out in the countryside, but within a short time, he begins to learn that this dead-end, may be a new beginning. 

Love, Life & Goldfish, Iis an interesting film. Unlike the vast majority of musicals, it does not rely on a rapid fast-paced series of events to get its way, instead, this film loves to take its time and there is something so relaxing about that. This one practically takes your hand and brings you into this beautiful little Japanese town and allows you to sit back and enjoy what is unfolding all around you. Yet every now and again this is disrupted by these delightfully quirky fourth walls breaks that just add to the movie’s unique and heartwarming charm. 

Now, what sort of musical review would this be if I failed to mention the music. In short, I can admit that I will be hunting down a copy of this soundtrack either online or when I eventually get a chance to fly back to Tokyo.  But for a longer more detailed answer I will say this, the music is varied and that is fabulous. Some songs will have you bopping along, others are catchy enough that you will try and join in and others will break your heart ever so slightly. Like I said it is a brilliant soundtrack and I cannot stress how much I loved it. These performers are all wonderful singers and each and every song is going to stick with me for the rest of my days.

As I already mentioned this film loves to take its time, well that fits perfectly with one of the themes of the movie, waiting. When Kashiba first tries his hand at the Goldfish game he is downright terrible at it, but after being given the advice to sit and wait, he quickly learns the trick to winning. And waiting is something we all need to learn to do. But this tale has a few more themes in it, one of the most obvious is that Love, Life & Goldfish is a Fish out of water story, which again thematically is just beautiful. But it also deals with topics like both finding and making your own place, expressing yourself and of course love. The last bit is particularly poignant because the love this film deals with is a kind and unselfish love, one that does not get toxic, something we could all use a little more of in 2022. 

When searching for a word to describe the look of this movie I have to say I really struggled. I could not pick between Gorgeous and Striking,  so I am going to cheat and pick both. Love, Life & Goldfish is the kind of movie that grounds itself in realism and uses gorgeous landscapes one minute, then dives into these striking beautifully choreographed, and colorful scenes only to dive headfirst into the use of fisheye lenses next, which thematically is delightful, what I am trying to say is that this film has a truly unique visual style. 

A film made for the oddballs, failures, and rejects. And by that, I mean Love, Life & Goldfish is for us all. It is beautiful on so many levels once you start watching you will find it hard to stop. 


Categories: Festival, Films, Musicals

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