Can you imagine a world where Jesus Christ and Buddah are housemates in 2019 Tokyo? SAINT☆YOUNG MEN 2nd Century brings that world to life in a fun and quirky way. Originally created as a series of manga written and illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura, the film consists of short vignettes cut together to make a 60 minute feature.
I was unsure what to expect from SAINT☆YOUNG MEN 2nd Century as all I knew going into the film was the synopsis from the Japanese Film Festival and the concept sounded appealing. Unfortunately I found the film to be a little bit of a let down.
The production value is low, most vignettes featuring a single filming location, often in the duos apartment, very simple sets and very basic camera work. To be honest it had a very YouTube-esk style and feel, I was expecting it to be a little more flashy. I’ve got to admit that the costume and make up was pretty good though, especially for Buddah. His hair piece and elongated ears looked flawless and really nailed the look.
Due to the way the film was constructed, there was no real story arch, just a collection of short sketches. I found the comedy in the sketches often fell flat, but I did enjoy a few of them. One sketch in particular that I did specifically enjoy was when the duo were trying on costumes in a fancy dress store. The reactions of the store assistant were great and helped lift the comedy a touch.
I’m not saying it was poorly written and unfunny, I just think a lot of laughs were lost in translation, especially having to read the gags through subtitles. I’m sure if you could understand the actors in their native language it would elicit more laughs. Overall I feel it was a film that had great potential, but just missed the mark and fell flat.
SAINT☆YOUNG MEN 2nd Century is part of the 2019 Japanese Film Festival.
For more information visit: https://japanesefilmfestival.net