Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi unveiled his Cannes Film Festival award contender on Sunday, a story of heartbreak and regret that emerges almost like a road movie over the course of multiple car trips. “Drive My Car” was adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami. Hamaguchi, who has distinguished himself in the film circuit including in Berlin, said he was drawn to the potential of the enclosed space enveloping the characters.
“What I found fascinating was the way the intimacy is brought into the car through the lengthy conversations between the characters,” Hamaguchi told Reuters in Cannes shortly before the film’s premiere on the Red carpet. The Cannes Film Festival, which runs until July 17, is back after its 2020 hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Drive My Car” centers on an actor and stage director played by Hidetoshi Nishijima, who is forced to confront demons beneath the seemingly perfect surface of his marriage after he is rocked by infidelity and his wife is deceased. Two years later, and still struggling to cope with his loss, he travels to Hiroshima to produce a multilingual version of “Uncle Vanya” and is assigned a driver, Misaki (Miura Toko), and the two begin to discuss their travels. .
Hamaguchi said he enjoys working with a multilingual cast that includes Korean actress Park Yoo-rim, who stars as a silent actress delivering her lines in sign language. “I found it interesting that neither of the actors are able to understand each other because it forces them to observe each other more closely and react in a different way,” Hamaguchi said.
The Japanese film received critical acclaim from early on, especially for its lead actors.
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