Soft-spoken casting agent Norio (Kou Maehara, The Blue Danube) leads a simple but happy coexistence with his longtime partner Mari, with whom he shares a small apartment. Returning home one day, however, Norio finds that Mari has vanished without explanation and in her place appears a strange young woman who claims to have the same name and no memory of how she got there. With his girlfriend supernaturally “recast” in his life, Norio takes a sudden turn into the uncanny as he tries to reconcile the appearance of the new Mari with the disappearance of the one he thought he knew. Capturing an eerie sense of alienation reminiscent of Kobo Abe and a pervasive otherworldly dread that recalls Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Tatsuya Yamanishi’s debut feature is a deftly shot and directed drama that suggests the illusion of complacency.
“The premise is like something out of an early Haruki Murakami story, but Yamanishi treats it with an aloof touch that suggests a fondness for the films of South Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo.” —The Japan Times