Doppelganger

Doppelganger

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Cast: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Koji Yakusho, Nagasaku Hiromi, Hiromi Nagasaku

     
 

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Yuka (Hiromi Nagasaku) is an attractive young woman whose brother has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Shortly before his untimely death, Yuka got her first glimpse of his double, who has since moved into their apartment and taken his place. Hayasaki (Koji Yakusho) is a brilliant but mercurial scientist obsessed with perfecting a robot chair for the

Overview

Yuka (Hiromi Nagasaku) is an attractive young woman whose brother has recently died under mysterious circumstances. Shortly before his untimely death, Yuka got her first glimpse of his double, who has since moved into their apartment and taken his place. Hayasaki (Koji Yakusho) is a brilliant but mercurial scientist obsessed with perfecting a robot chair for the disabled, with wheels and mechanical arms that are supposed to function according to the "will" of the user. In his single-mindedness, he harangues his underlings and aggravates his employer, who is focused on the bottom line. After a co-worker tells Hayasaki about Yuka's experience, he finds himself being stalked by a doppelganger. At first, he thinks he is doomed, like Yuka's brother, and tries to avoid his double. Eventually, he loses his job, and control of his invention, and the doppelganger steps in to take care of everything. The double trashes Hayasaki's former lab, stealing the robot chair so the scientist can continue his work. The double also hires a young thug, Kimishima (Yusuke Santamaria), to work for them. The double says Kimishima is "just dumb enough not to find us alarming." But Hayasaki's fears come to the fore when the double takes advantage of Yuka's interest in him. And when his former employer, Aoki (Masahiro Toda), now disgraced, comes looking for a piece of the robot-chair action, the scientist finds himself uncertain who to trust. Doppelganger, a dark comedy directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Cure) from a script by Kurosawa and Ken Furusawa, was shown at the 2004 Rotterdam Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Japanese horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa lightens up with Doppelganger. The film opens with a typically unnerving story about a young man whose double mysteriously appears one day, apparently causing his death, and matter-of-factly takes his place. But once the (seemingly growing) phenomenon of the Doppelganger reaches the main character, Hayasaki, an obsessive scientist played by Kurosawa mainstay Koji Yakusho, the film takes an unexpectedly comic turn. This is not to say Kurosawa's film is a laugh riot. The humor is mostly sardonic and deadpan, and there's some mayhem and plenty of tension, in addition to the filmmaker's usual philosophical underpinnings, as Hayasaki's double sets about "helping" him sort out his life. At first, Hayasaki comically tries to avoid and ignore his double, but eventually, as he starts to get more control over his current project, the double seems to be improving his life. That device, a wheelchair-based robotic body for the paralyzed that operates according to the "will" of the patient, is used in some delightful sight gags. It may even be the most likeable character in the film. But Yakusho delivers a wonderfully droll dual performance, and Kurosawa uses split-screen effects brilliantly, keeping us guessing as to the true nature of the double and using the strong visual motif to explicate a complex and demanding study of the nature of self. Doppelganger is an amusing and thought-provoking diversion from a confident and clever filmmaker. Doppelganger was shown at the 2004 edition of Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
UPC:
0842498030035
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
R
Source:
Tartan Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Trailer; TV spots; "Making of" featurette; Interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa; Tartan Asia Extreme new releases; Subtitles: English & Spanish; Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound; DTS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Koji Yakusho Actor
Nagasaku Hiromi Actor
Hiromi Nagasaku Actor
Yusuke Santamaria Actor
Masahiro Toda Actor
Hiromi Sato Actor
Eisuke Suzuki Actor
Akira Emoto Actor

Technical Credits
Kiyoshi Kurosawa Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Sato Atsushi Producer
Shimoda Atsuyuki Producer
Ken Furusawa Screenwriter
Hiromichi Kaori Score Composer
Motoo Kawabata Producer
Hiromichi Kori Sound/Sound Designer
Onaga Masahiro Editor
Noriyuki Mizuguichi Cinematographer
Kawabata Motoo Producer
Takayuki Nitta Art Director
Mizuguchi Noriyuki Cinematographer
Masahiro Onaga Editor
Atsushi Sato Producer
Atsuyuki Shimoda Producer
Nitta Takayuki Production Designer
Furusawa Takeshi Screenwriter
Hayashi Yuusuke Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Doppelganger
1. Main Titles/Seeing Double [3:16]
2. Technical Innovation [4:27]
3. Paranormal Phenomenon [4:22]
4. Back From the Dead [4:57]
5. Cracking Up [7:11]
6. A Heavy Load [5:22]
7. A Novel Idea [5:31]
8. Getting Wired [4:25]
9. The Hammer [4:35]
10. Who's Responsible? [6:15]
11. Part of the Team [5:23]
12. A New Beginning [3:47]
13. Want to Help? [4:54]
14. Business Proposition [5:49]
15. Celebrating [7:51]
16. Cheers [3:58]
17. Car Problems [4:18]
18. Left Behind [3:25]
19. Give Up the Past [5:21]
20. Shot in the Dark/End Credits [11:15]

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