This gem was actually included in a past end of year “Best of List” and it’s been awhile since I last highly suggested a theatrical delight and often times we encounter films whether they be deep into the vaults or fresh off the silver screen as those few which warrant an inner need to say ….OMG! you really should see this!! And so in that light of friendly inspiration I present a film which you owe your cinema loving heart a YES!~! ..a really must see!!
Pictured above is the DVD I ended up purchasing and it’s a Taiwanese version of “K-20” which will play on region free players only. However since then a few more versions of the film have been released including a U.S. version friendly DVD as well as a Blu-ray version! Both linked just below:
Set in a hypothetical 1949, “K-20” takes us into a world where financial class is all the “rage”, well certainly not in a enlightening manner but rather in the sense of boxing up the human race into predetermined circumstances stemming from birth. And in this time of unimaginable human suffering and class division, a mysterious character known simply as “K-20” (a man of twenty faces…) has emerged as a somewhat folk hero whose initial primary aim is one of taking from the rich, however this so isn’t a “Robin Hood” in any sense of the icon.
This remarkable action/ thriller stars up front, the uber~sexy Kaneshiro Takeshi (btw he’s holding strong @ #5 on my latest Cuddle~List♥!), my long time fave actress~ songwriter and J~Music artist Matsu Takako and the always stoic Nakamura Toru.
Kaneshiro Takeshi~♥ stars as a poorer than poor Endo Heikichi whom uses his superhuman-like agility and physical abilities employed as a circus acrobat. One day following a performance, Heikichi is approached by a stranger whom presents what appears to be a simple work proposal, however after Heikichi is unwittingly set up as the fall guy for one of K-20’s crimes, he then vows to take revenge as he joins forces with detective Kobayashi Akechi (played by Nakamura Toru) as well as K-20’s next target, the wealthy Duchess Hashiba Yoko (played by Matsu Takako) whom is set to marry the brilliant detective Kobayashi Akechi.
While aesthetically, a grand sense of the film’s charm is no doubt set within its amazing period sets, eye-opening effects and outstanding stunt choreography, the primary reason to fall in love with this film lies deeply within its understated humor and underlying theme aimed at a man’s will to rise up and face daunting odds and circumstances much of which are seemingly beyond his control plus there’s this underlying superhero type of aura abound here, well that is if Batman were dirt poor and all =P. Thus a really cheer loudly for the underdog venture!~! And so after a daring escape from imprisonment as his former circus lays in ruins, Heikichi is faced with the life as a country-wide wanted fugitive and only by the means of his warm natured heart and natural knack for defying the the limits of physical athleticism, Heikichi realizes that to catch a masterful thief, one must emulate and truly become one himself and battle the odds in a world full of deceit and slight of hand… and luckily Heikichi knows of just the man to aid him in handing down these secrets. And as aforementioned, a lot of times the very best of humor appears in the unlikeliest of scenes when the viewer least expects it…. such is the location of “K-20’s” funny~bone. So consider it part Mission Impossible meets super~heroism as a poor mans’ “Batman” meets the greatest crime caper of the 20th century!! Oh and did I forget to mention the cuter than cute romance which unexpectedly unfolds or rather “trips” into play between initially humorously “mismatched” worlds as the characters of Heikichi and Yoko play on as the knee deep in poverty meets gorgeous royalty^^*! Gosh* how beauty and grace can affect a man =P!~! Not to mention how you can double down the emotions of one born into wealth as they can be deeply moved and affected by a previously unknown world of the impoverished. How seeing the world from a different angle can dramatically change one’s perspective, here the valiant underlying theme~♥!
So come for the sexiness of high octane stars amidst a mysterious caper for the ages while staying for the action, romance and humor of it all ^^!!
~K-20 “Lessons in the art of thievery~
Here I’ll leave you with this first of two mini scenes I’ve chosen to highlight “K-20”’s charm. In this scene Heikichi (Kaneshiro♥Takeshi) begins his training by following the first step in the art of thievery by going by the book: it states that you must first draw a straight line upon a map and then travel from point A to point B by all means necessary staying true to that straight line no matter what obstacles lie in waiting whether they be gigantic buildings, walls or being atop a skyscraper with the next “foothold” being that of a far far far away tower =O. And YES it all concludes here with one of the aforementioned understated humorous scenes which hits the viewer unexpectedly, in comedy it’s indeed all about the timing.
~K-20 “Princess meets bath-time slumming”~
In this second mini scene I’ve chosen, our screen princess (Matsu Takako) encounters her very first firsthand account of what it means to be slumming poor and all the amenities or rather the lack of amenities that go with it =O! The back and forth dialog here is simply hilarious not to mention the sight of Matsu Takako taking a bath inside this umm …slum-tub makes the scene wacky good fun all by itself! ^^