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Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy(偶然と想像)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Japan
·
2021

2h 1m

Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Starring Kotone Furukawa, Ayumu Nakajima, Hyunri, Kiyohiko Shibukawa

Genre Drama, Romance

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Three women deal with the problems of modern relationships in different contexts. A young woman realizes that her best friend’s new flame might just be her ex. A resentful student asks his lover to seduce his professor. Lastly, two old friends meet again at a college reunion after 20 years.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

Screen Daily by Allan Hunter

Wheel Of Fortune And Fantasy allows Hamaguchi to return to themes he has explored in previous work from the way life is measured in twists of fate to a sense of duality in individual lives and characters.
88

Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s film is an alternately scathing, erotic, terrifying, and affirming fable of the primordial power of storytelling.
83

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

This one is every bit as static and chatty as fans have come to expect; rooted to its two-actors-in-a-room reality, but also charming and characteristically unpredictable for the ways it wiggles free of it like a loose tooth.
70

Variety by Peter Debruge

Each of these episodes is well acted, follows a reasonably conventional three-act structure and emphasizes interesting female characters in a compelling situation — which is more than can be said for many portmanteau films, where one segment is markedly more satisfying than the others. But it also suggests an ongoing resistance on Hamaguchi’s part to engage with the feature form itself.
100

The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

It feels a complete whole––a wry intertwining dialectic on modern desires––yet each scene is uniquely bracing: beautifully poised, exquisitely observed, and even erotically charged––rife with unabashed seduction, though always close enough to farce to keep things kösher and to keep you guessing (it’s telling that we barely glimpse a kiss).

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