Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
An unexpected love triangle, a failed seduction trap, and a surprising encounter that results from a misunderstanding.
A trio of separate yet thematically linked vignettes explore the roles of chance, coincidence, and imagination in the lives of three characters; the portmanteau format adopted by director Ryusuke Hamaguchi allows the director to expand upon themes explored in films such as Happy Hour (2015), and the recent Drive My Car.
Fashion model Meiko is startled when she realises that the object of her best friend’s latest infatuation is her ex-boyfriend; Sasaki hatches an elaborate plan to avenge the humiliation he once suffered at hands of his college professor, drafting his ‘friend with benefits’ partner into a honey-trap that goes awry; in the distant future where everyone has moved off-line in the wake of a devastating computer virus, unemployed IT engineer Natsuko attends her high school reunion and has a chance encounter with a woman who may or may not be an old acquaintance.
Dir: Ryusuke Hamagugchi, 121 mins, Japan, 2021
The geometry of desire is elegantly plotted in “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy,” a wistful, moving, outwardly unassuming movie The New York Times