Japan Cuts Capsule Review: I Alone


I Alone is a film about a lot of things. It’s about political corruption and kidnapping, sure, but it’s also about responsibility and staying true to one’s own beliefs. It’s about fighting until the bitter end, because if you persevere, you will overcome. (Probably.)

It starts innocuously enough: The horoscope says that Libras should do things they don’t normally do. So an aging salaryman with no social life decides to steal a car owned by a wealthy-type with a henchman. A delinquent high schooler sees the theft and takes chase. After catching the man, they realize that there is a baby in the back seat, in a cardboard box no less. What follows is a zany adventure of mischief and mayhem, involving the brutal beating (multiple times) of both of our intrepid heroes. Because their decisions don’t come without consequences. They go up against mob-types in their attempts to keep the baby safe, and mob-types don’t take kindly to people who stand in their way. 

The fights are often long and exhausting. These aren’t “real” fighters going at it, though that probably makes the fights more “real.” It takes time for someone to get up after being hit, and a single punch can take a whole lot out of a person not used to throwing punches. In such an unreal situation, the decision to ground the violence (except for a key moment involving a car) is particularly interesting. The series of unfortunate events is nothing short of silly, but the people who fight until they can barely stand in order to do what they think is right are anything but. It’s fascinating, and for the most part it works. It feels good to see “normal” people do the right thing, and even better to see two people from vastly different walks of life do it together.

I Alone - Japan Cuts 2015

I Alone (この世で俺/僕だけ | Kono yo de ore/Boku dake)
Director: Sho Tsukikawa
Country: Japan