At last Shinobu Yaguchis second feature film is available on DVD and its well worth the wait.
Sakiko (Naomi Nishida) is not your normal young teenager. Ever since she was a child, she has been fascinated with money. She loves holding it, counting it getting it. When she is asked out on a dinner date by a boy, she asks him just to give her the money it will cost instead of spending it on dinner. Tired of going to school, she natuarally gets a job as a bank teller.
One day the bank is robbed, and she is taken prisoner by the robbers. They drive into the wilderness, have an accident and dies but Sakiko miraculously is saved. The money is never recovered, but Sakiko knows, that the suitcase with the money is at the bottom of a lake. The problem is finding the lake again in the vast wilderness area.
Listening to a TV show with a geology professor, she thinks he can help her find the lake and she enrolls at the university, where he teaches. She gets into all kinds of trouble, and has to pass many hurdles but she is one stubborn girl. We never doubt, that she will succeed in finding the money.
As in Shinobu Yaguchis first feature film Down the Drain the humor is absurd and dry. The singlemindedness and stubbornness of the heroine is shown in such a deadpan way by Naomi Nishida (a celebrated model of commercials and fashion magazines), that I was laughing out loud most of the time. The wit and irony of the script made me hunger for more, but Shinobu Yaguchi does not make many films or are his films too special to find producers? His later films Adrenaline Drive and Waterboys are definitely worth looking up.
The Secret Garden is a satire, about being differint in the rigid Japanese society and then being a woman, too!
If you like a well turned absurd comedy with bite check out The Secret Garden. And while you are at it, give Down the Drain a whirl, too!