Vital Review

Image for Vital

Hiroshi is trying to recover from the car crash that erases his memory and kills Ryoko, the mystery girl who haunts his slowly returning memories, his new relationship and his anatomy class.


Medical student Hiroshi (Asano) suffers amnesia after a mystery car crash. As he starts seeing gamine fellow student Ikumi (Kiki) he begins to remember his time with Ryôko (Tsukamoto), who died in the crash that scrambled his brains and who, in a macabre turn, is still a part of his life as the corpse he has to work on in anatomy class. Director Shinya Tsukamoto, best-known for the Tetsuo films, has been getting more into mental than physical states in recent work.

This obsessive psychodrama probes flesh with a scalpel (quite tactfully) as it gets into the disorienting headspace of its lead character. Dangerously oblique at times, with its glumly withdrawn hero and doppelgänger female leads, it does offers an exhilarating dance sequence among other unexpected detours

Occasionally unengaging in its obsessive dealing with the psychological confusion of the lead