Kamikaze Girls

Film Review by Gareth K Vile | 01 Feb 2010
  • Kamikaze Girls
Film title: Kamikaze Girls
Director: Tetsuya Nakashima
Starring: Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako
Release date: 8 Feb
Certificate: 12

Edited at a frenetic pace, trawling through Japanese sub-cultures and using lurid, intense cinematography, Kamikaze Girls is a female buddy movie re-invented as a neon romp through small town, teenage isolation.

If the style of the early sequences recalls Fight Club (with a mocking dismissal of generic consumerism that echoes bad advertising techniques), the film soon finds a distinctive voice, as teenage rebels Momoko and Ichigo struggle to find common ground in a city that alienates them in different ways.

While Momoko, given a naïve charm by Fukada, retreats into a Rococo fantasy world, Ichigo is a “Yanki”- a biker, obsessed with Western cool. Despite the initial distrust between them, they gradually become partners in surreal adventures. While this is a pretty worn theme, the intense energy of the film, the constant flipping between styles and genres, gives it a visceral force: the cloying visual imagery concealing a hard-hearted aggression that takes this angular look at teenage life beyond angst-ridden cliché.