REVIEW / FILM REVIEW – After “Drive My Car”, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi is back at the cinema with “Tales of chance and other fantasies”. The director once again demonstrates his ability to stage sublime dialogues…
Tales of chance and other fantasies: the art of conversation
In the last part of Drive My Car, the dialogues create the situations and become the main revealers of the emotions that the characters seek to bury. A long exchange in a car, for example, allows two men to confront the mourning of a woman they loved differently, to overcome the animosity and restraint between them. Communication, which is not only useful for solving problems but can also create them and become a real adventure, is again at the heart of Tales of chance and other fantasies.
Ryūsuke Hamaguchi’s film also begins with a conversation in a car. A young woman confides in a friend about falling in love with a man recently and the chemistry she hopes to develop with him. Her interlocutor listens to her attentively and is happy for her. When they separate, the viewer discovers that the man in question is none other than the confidante’s ex-boyfriend.
The feature film, therefore, bears its title perfectly and most of the time, poetry, irony, and the beauty of chance are revealed in unexpected ways during these exchanges, just as pain and sadness are revealed in those of Drive My Car. Inspired by the work of Éric Rohmer, Ryūsuke Hamaguchi manages to create friendship, desire, eroticism, regrets, or even provoke the resurgence of romantic feelings during these conversations which sweep across an extremely wide range of emotions.
A perfect size
Originally, the filmmaker wanted to develop seven episodes about chance encounters and unforeseen events. But after shooting the first three, he feels he has enough content for an entire film. The director is not mistaken. By their diversity and the different protagonists they present, these three tales lead the spectator without difficulty and each beginning of a sketch arouses his curiosity again.
Tales of chance and other fantasies avoid repetition and offer singular confrontations from which laughter, bitterness, and nostalgia are born. In the second, a student wants to trap a professor by trying to seduce him and a kind of suspense is born thanks to the orientation of their exchange, which ends in a surprising sweetness, before the arrival of an ellipsis that is both cruel and comforting. A sketch which, even more than the other two, reminds us that a seemingly innocuous conversation can have great consequences.
Intense and delicate the dialogues of Tales of chance and other fantasies are of a rare richness, which allows the immediate attachment to characters and the rejection of certain others. Ryūsuke Hamaguchi films the words without falling into contemplation and avoids annoying logorrhea managing to engage a viewer who is still waiting for the next line and the revelation it is likely to bring.
Tales of chance and other fantasies by Ryūsuke Hamaguchi were in theaters on April 6, 2022. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.