|Jeans Blues: No Future (1974)|
|Writers:||Takeo Kaneko and Sadao Nakajima|
|Starring:||Tsunehiko Watase, Meiko Kaji, and Ryôhei Uchida|
The movie works as well as it does because of the two very likable leads. These are two quirky outsiders, and the audience can’t help but empathize with them when looking at the greedy and gritty world that they are a part of. While these two are no simple white-hat caricatures, they at first seem to have a decency to them that makes them seem out of place. There’s no doubt that their costumes, which look as if they come from the early 20th century, play a large role in this. These outsiders don’t fit in with the world around them, and when compared to that world them they at times almost seem naive or wholesome. The movie distances our leads as further outcasts during a training sequence where Jiro (Tsunehiko Watase) practices shooting the shotgun that they steal by using the Japanese flag, which is held in a picture frame, as a target. This of course includes a closeup of the flag with a blast right through the red center, as if the viewer couldn’t get the symbolism right from the start. The retro style could also come from the obvious influence of Bonnie and Clyde, but these two come across as being more intrinsically likable. Yet, despite how endearing these characters are, they do find themselves in some true Bonnie and Clyde-esque situations. As the movie presses forward, the moral lines eventually become more blurred as our lead protagonists must do whatever is necessary to survive.