Although visually beautiful, Tetsuya Nakashima’s Kamikaze Girls often feels like a bit of an empty shell. The cinematography is stunning and there’s no doubt that the film is absolutely incredible to look at, aside from this though there is little that really makes the film special.
Momoko (Kyoko Fukada) is an incredibly isolated seventeen year old that is very much her own woman; she has no friends to speak of and tends to make little effort to get on with others. Momoko is incredibly interested in fashion and likes to purchase her clothes from her favourite boutique, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Momoko’s father used to have his own market stall where he sold fake Versace, although her father has now moved on from that business venture however a lot of his old stock still remains in the house, and when Momoko is one day in need of money to buy some new clothes she decides to place an advert on the internet. It’s not long before someone responds to the advert and is after a fake Versace jacket, and as she lives just down the road she decides to come and pay Momoko a visit. Ichiko (Anna Tsuchiya) is the person that responds to the advert, a girl the same age as Momoko but with very different interests; Ichiko is a keen biker, despite their differences though it’s not long before Momoko and Ichiko begin to forge a very strong friendship.
As the film develops a deeper bond grows between Momoko and Ichiko, and the once isolated Momoko learns the value of friendship as she comes to care very much about Ichiko. The film looks into the friendship that these two teenagers form, focusing on their stories as they both look to follow their dreams.
The opening scene of Kamikaze Girls sets up the finale for the film, and we then follow Momoko and Ichiko’s friendship as we work our way back to the end. It leaves us wondering what we’re leading up to, but as it turns out the journey is ultimately more interesting than the destination. There’s no incredible plot line, and the ending isn’t really worth of such focus as it’s given in being used in the opening sequence of the film; what the film has to offer visually is what’s most striking about Kamikaze Girls, the plot meanwhile is always secondary to this.
Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya both play their parts well, it’s the visual gloss that’s key here though, and the fact that both of these actresses play their parts so well just serves to make the viewing experience more pleasant. Realism isn’t a key concentration for Tetsuya Nakashima here, he has chosen his cast well though and the cinematography at all times ensures for an absolute display of visual beauty.
If you watch films hoping for a well written script and top quality plot line then Kamikaze Girls may leave you feeling a little disappointed, if what you’re craving is a high gloss display of stunning visuals though then Kamikaze Girls can definitely deliver. Funny in places and with an incredibly high quality cast, Kamikaze Girls is a film that is certainly worth watching once, whether or not you’ll want to see the film more than that though is uncertain. Kamikaze Girls is far from being a bad film, it’s just far from being an exceptional film also.