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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Erika Toda: "April Fools" movie review and screenshots

 Release Date: April 1st, 2015   Running Time: 115 minutes  Director: Junichi Ishikawa

Main Cast:

Erika Toda as Ayumi Nitta
Tori Matsuzuka as Wataru Makino
Nanao as Reiko
Susumu Terajima as The Kidnapper
Minami Hanabe as Rika
Yusuke Santamaria as The Waiter
Yukiyoshi Ozawa as the Restaurant owner
also with Kotaro Satomi, Sumiko Fuji
Arata Furata, Kenichi Takito, Haruka Kinami  

 The cast is so big that could be only a 1/3 of them, for such a big cast most of them got a fair amount of screen time. Not going to review the whole movie in this post, what I'm thinking of doing is perhaps having another post for the entire film, for this post just going to be concentrating on Erika.  But will give a brief description of the film, going in thought it was going to be confusing but it wasn't at all. Also heard that all these mini stories connected together but they really didn't, few of them did but thought at the ending somehow all the major characters would meet up which didn't happen. There were about seven of these mini stories in the movie, if I gave a review of all of them then it'd end up being a two or three post review, just too many things that happened. One other thing about the film is that I thought it was going to be more of a thriller or even action packed, neither was the case as if anything it was more of a satirical movie, almost a comedy in a way.
 The seven mini stories were all interesting, the best one had to deal with a kidnapper who abducted a young girl of about 13. However it wasn't your usual kidnapping as it was his daughter who he hadn't seen in about a decade. Another story dealt with an elderly couple who were living it up on the town, the wife had a terminal disease and didn't have long to live so her he brought her out for for one final night and they really did live it up. The other five stories were also okay, there just isn't enough time to go into all of them but then again the main reason for this post and also the main reason for viewing it is because if who starred in it.

 That star is of course Erika who had the lead role in the movie playing the character of Ayumi. That character is one odd person as she suffers from severe shyness and a fear of people. Despite that she is pregnant and is due any day but the father of the child denies it's his baby and the pair hadn't met since their one night stand eight months prior. Ayumi had met him at the hospital where she worked at as a janitor, the father of the child was a young doctor at the hospital named Makino.
 However Makino isn't what he appears to be as he isn't a doctor, more of a sex addict than anything else. Makino was posing as a doctor at the hospital to pick up women and he was fairly successful at it as they were falling at his feet. He also had an excuse that after spending a night with them he had forgotten to go to the bank to get cash, those women after a night always end up giving him a pile of money then.
 Somehow Makino was never caught impersonating a doctor at the hospital, he never wore an ID badge nor did he have an office but somehow none of those female patients nor any of the staff suspicious. Didn't seem likely but Ayumi managed to gather her courage up and approached Makino at the hospital, the pair ended up spending a night or perhaps two together with the result being Aymi is pregnant. Though he denied it Ayumi found out where he was going to be one day which was going to be at an exclusive restaurant and went there to confront him.

 At the restaurant Makino still denied being the father of the child, furious Ayumi ended up pulling a gun out of her bag and started shooting. What a poor shot she was though as she ended up missing Makino who ended up eluding her and trapped himself in the kitchen. Ayumi was willing to wait him out though and held all of the customers hostage, she did fire a few warning shots but no one was hit or at least yet.
 The customers weren't really angry nor scared of her once they heard her story and how Makino was denying they were together and he was the father of her child. In a way they were on her side, especially the head waiter who helped keep the confusion and tension down to a minimum. After firing six bullets Makino and the restaurant's owner thought her pistol was now empty and came out of the kitchen, to their surprise the gun actually held eight bullets. Brief note on the gun, said there weren't many connections between the stories but Ayumi getting the gun was one of them. Prior to going to the restaurant she had stopped for some ramen and her bag had been switched with the kidnappers. His bag had a gun in it as Ayumi had no plans on what she was going to do once she got to the restaurant, that gun gave her many ideas though.
 Now that Makino was back with Ayumi and the customers the truth about both of them started to be revealed. He admitted the entire truth about how and why he was impersonating a doctor, even Ayumi expressed her problems with being such a shy person who was so fearful of people. All those truths came out after Ayumi had tried once again to shoot Makino, once again she proved what a bad shot she was as she missed but now it meant there was only one bullet left.

 Even though the situation now seemed calm it wasn't entirely so as Makino still wanted nothing to do with Ayumi or her child. And yet again Ayumi takes aim with her final bullet at Makino but he was saved as the head waiter managed to knock the pistol out of Ayumi's hand with a dish rag or something similar to that. Another customer then proceeded to pick up the gun and was now prepared to use that final bullet on Ayumi. As he fired though Makino jumped out of nowhere and was able to push Ayumi out of the way. But there was never a bullet fired at Ayumi as during his attempt to save Ayumi Makino distracted the customer enough so he ended up shooting himself.
 The injury wasn't serious though but what was serious was that during that commotion was that it brought Ayumi into labor. Many of the customers had experience in delivering babies but they needed a head doctor and Makino was nominated to be that person. Though he wasn't a real doctor Makino did have a background in medicine, he had studied to be a doctor but wasn't good enough to make it through school but he still read medical books all the time. There were a few complications but Makino helped Ayumi deliver the baby successfully, actually not just her baby but both of theirs.
 Their story somewhat ends there, an ambulance brings her to the hospital and mother and baby are doing fine. More than fine for Ayumi as it looks like her and Makino are now going to be a couple, he didn't want to admit it but deep down even though he had been with so many women Ayumi had been his fave. But he didn't want to admit it as she was kind of a strange woman plus she only worked as a janitor, none of that matters now as the pair are now looking toward the future as a couple. Another good thing for the couple is that no charges were pressed against Ayumi even though she did try to kill Makino plus the restaurant was so badly damaged, the owner was a goodhearted chap though and didn't press any charges nor did any of the customers.

 That mainly sums up Erika's story in the film, few things may have been left out but you can catch those in the screenshots, have a few more here plus the next post has a huge amount. It was an enjoyable movie but thought it was going to be a bit better, like I mentioned above it kind of a lighthearted drama or in some ways a comedy. Will give it a final grade of a 8.2/10, would recommend watching it but if it had been a bit more intense or if things didn't wrap up so nicely at the end would have been a better film.
 Few more screenshots here plus after them you can view the trailer for the film. Erika looked mighty fine in the film, perhaps not when she was made up to pregnant but after giving birth it's easy to see why she's always been my #1.

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