Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (a movie review)

This movie may be considered a fantasy/fairy tale set against a realistic and contemporary setting. The elements of fantasy/fairy tale apply more to the theme and the story rather than special effects or costume. In some ways, it is also absurdist and funny; just not the laugh out kind. It’s funny as in marvelously original and ridiculously funny.

The movie is about a 29-year-old single Japanese woman named Kumiko, who is played by Rinko Kikuchi. She seems alienated from her family and co-workers and somewhat introverted. The beginning shows her searching for something in the woods of Japan. She unearths a container from inside a cave and finds in it a VHS videotape of the movie Fargo (a 1996 film written and directed by the Coen brothers). She views the film and becomes obsessed with the disclosure that plays before the start of the movie. The disclosure says that the story is true and that the money buried is still undiscovered in the U.S. town of Fargo, North Dakota.

After viewing the film, Kumiko discovers her life mission, which is to find that briefcase full of money in America. Her adventure begins as she meets various odd characters on her quest to finding the treasure. The film is quite a find.

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