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Amarufi: Megami no hôshû (2009) HD online

Amarufi: Megami no hôshû (2009) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Drama
Original Title: Amarufi: Megami no hôshû
Director: Hiroshi Nishitani
Writers: Yûichi Shinbo
Released: 2009
Duration: 2h 5min
Video type: Movie
A G-8 summit is set for Rome the day after Christmas; the Italian and Japanese governments will announce an aid package for the Balkans. Kuroda arrives from Tokyo to improve security at the embassy, making waves with his direct manner. A Japanese tourist who's a single mother reports that her young daughter has been kidnapped. Posing as the woman's husband, Kuroda takes the lead with the kidnappers, who want money and no cops. However, the law requires that Kuroda notify local authorities, who blunder a bit. Various exchanges go awry; then the kidnappers send the mother and Kuroda to the Amalfi coast on what appears to be a goose chase. Why the delay? What's going on?
Credited cast:
Yûji Oda Yûji Oda - Kosaku Kuroda
Yûki Amami Yûki Amami - Saeko Yagami
Erika Toda Erika Toda - Kanae Adachi
Kôichi Satô Kôichi Satô - Masaki Fujii
Nene Ohtsuka Nene Ohtsuka - Yoshimi Haba
Atsushi Itô Atsushi Itô - Mikiyasu Taniki
Akira Onodera Akira Onodera - Kiyofumi Kikuhara
Mitsuru Hirata Mitsuru Hirata - Wataru Kawagoe
Shirô Sano Shirô Sano - Michio Nishino
Ayane Ômori Ayane Ômori - Madoka Yagami
Sarah Brightman Sarah Brightman - Herself
Masaharu Fukuyama Masaharu Fukuyama - Shogo Saeki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fausto Bellone Fausto Bellone - Concert's guest
Ugo De Cesare Ugo De Cesare
Luis Fernandez-Gil Luis Fernandez-Gil - Roberto

Reviews: [2]

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    I guess even coming back from the Tokyo International Film Festival my appetite for Japanese films still isn't satiated. Amalfi is Fuji TV's 50th anniversary film, and it's no holds barred in terms of the production values, jet-setting throughout Rome, with a bevy of star, even getting Sarah Brightman herself to perform the number "Time to Say Goodbye" on screen.

    Yuji Oda stars as what looked to be on the surface as an uncomfortable career diplomat, though I'd like to think of his character here as a behind-the-scenes clandestine operative sent around the world to provide various Japanese embassies that oversight into major events their diplomats are organizing or attending. It's been some time since I last saw a Yuji Oda film, the last I believe being very long ago with the Bayside Shakedown 2 film, and he's visibly aged here, with no hint of a betrayal to the more quirky Aoshima character then, versus a no-nonsense, serious role here.

    Caught up in between a kidnapping of a Japanese girl and his actual mission in shadowing the ministerial visit, his Kuroda-san becomes drawn toward the plight of a single mom Saeko (Yuki Amami) who had lost her daughter Madoka (Ayane Omori) while out touring Rome. Sworn to render assistance to all Japanese citizens overseas regardless of rank and title, he takes it upon himself, albeit quite reluctantly given his more pressing, diplomatic matters, to assist in what seemed like a simple extortion case, but one which will unravel itself to reveal a somewhat convoluted plot of a larger conspiracy involving retribution, vengeance and the seeking of justice.

    I was very much drawn towards Yuji Oda's character as a man torn between duty and good sense to help a fellow citizen in a strange land. Very much like his Bayside Shakedown films which examine the perennial tussle between beat cops and its internal bureaucracy, Amalfi also provided a sneak peek into the lifestyle of diplomats overseas who live under the graces of its citizen's taxes back home, and it presented itself as a commentary and a demonstration on the extravagance led by the diplomatic corps, where anything budgeted should be maxed out, and in some instances, allowed to go beyond allocation too.

    The plot though did require some suspension of disbelief, given what you would expect necessary for all the disparate incidents to come converging toward each other as the narrative progressed. There are moments which do seem a little far-fetched, especially when it has to do with security processes within restricted environments, and how anyone could go away scot free after causing what could become an international disaster.

    Being a film to celebrate an anniversary, no effort got spared in the production front. There's even Sarah Brightman lending her vocals in a scene designed to do just that. On the whole it's a relatively entertaining investigative thriller running around Rome much like what Angels and Demons did.
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    A Japanese girl goes missing on a holiday in Rome, and her mother teams up with a government security expert to find her. Thrillers without twists are in minority nowadays, so the twists are expected. The twists in this movie did not really surprise me, but maybe it's just me.

    Japanese thrillers usually contain too much melodrama; Amalfi is no exception. However, when a thriller like Suspect X manages to integrate the melodrama organically into the plot, Amalfi does not do such a good job.

    The movie is set in Italy, and at times focuses too much on the settings. Incidentally, much of the action occurs in the well-visited tourist spots, and it makes the movie look like a travel agency brochure, "Top 10 places in Italy to visit", adapted for Japan, accompanied by "Time to say goodbye" sung by non-Italian Sarah Brightman. Too cheesy.

    On the up side, however, the mystery keeps you interested for a while, and the acting is more or less convincing. Watchable for those interested in Japanese movies (like myself), but no more than that.