The Sleepless Town (1998)
Reviewed by: pjshimmer on 2005-12-17
Summary: Decent
It seems that when I was first acquainted with Takeshi Kaneshiro the actor, he was an idol to me. He was excellent in Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, and Anna Magdalena. From there however, his image slipped from my expectations, starting with Returner, and reached an all time low in my book with House of Flying Daggers. I had no idea what to expect from Sleepless Town. The result is a memorable but not totally satisfying experience.

It starts off by entering the nightlife of Kenichi (Kaneshiro) as he leisurely wanders the sleepless town of Tokyo. Without any background detail, we learn more as he meets dozens of people. One of the challenges in the film may be to keep up with all the character's names. There are quite a few extremely long takes that expose the underground business. Then comes the mysterious woman into Kenichi's life, whom you just know is more than meets the eye.

Rest assured there's plenty of deception and back-and-forth contradictions. I still can't quite put my finger on some of the characters' true motivation, which I guess is to say that the actors delivered a good dose of ambiguity. The ending builds up one of the biggest moments of suspense ever in film, "is he going to shoot her?" Well, I leave you to find out.

This is not an action-packed film. See it if you like a film where you are immediately thrown into a character's life (possibly confused at first) and gradually discover more details.
Reviewer Score: 7