The message of It’s Me, It’s Me (俺俺) is: a person is his own best friend as well as his deadliest enemy. (I think)
It’s Me, It’s Me (俺俺) Synopsis
After coming into possession of a stranger’s handphone, Hitoshi finds himself not the victim, but the perpetrator of the notorious Ore Ore scam. Amazingly, his prank succeeds, to the extent that his victim starts regarding him as who he pretends to be. Soon, multiple versions of Hitoshi also appears all over his town, with events ultimately turning murderous.
Japanese modern entertainment, literature included, has long been renowned for surreal productions.
I say renowned instead of “notorious” because bizarre as these shows and stories are, many are beloved by aficionados worldwide. In some cases, because these tales lay the foundation, or some academic semblance of, for hours of rhetorical discussions.
Further exemplifying this phenomenon is how Haruki Murakami won the sixth Franz Kafka Prize. Kafka himself, of course, one of the most prominent writers of the surreal genre.
Coming to It’s Me It’s Me, this is not a Murakami story but it certainly plays like one. Based on an award-winning novel by Tomoyuki Hoshino, the movie presents a world in which duplication of identity, or self, is no weirder than say, finding a coin in an alley. Something that’d make you raise an eyebrow but give no further thought to.
Or obsess over.
Hitoshi’s ready acceptance of his doppelgangers, in turn, carries the real themes of the story; all those questions about modern identity, self, inner conflict, etc. Conflict, eventually, also spiraling into some sort of Battle Royale lookalike.
It’s confusing. It’s a big “huh?” For some viewers, I suspect the tonal shift in the second half would feel illogical too. After all, the perfect versions of Hitoshi highlighted how much they enjoyed each other’s company. We are our own best friends, yes? Why did they turn against each other?
But I guess the movie was denoting the true ugliness of modern life. In a world where identity is more often imposed rather than cultivated, we can only survive by eliminating some aspects of ourselves. By only retaining the characteristics society prefers.
Or maybe I should ditch all philosophical musings and just say this is one of those weird Japanese movies to watch without thinking too much about underlying themes. Inexplicable developments aside, it is a showcase, of sorts, for Kazuya Kamenashi’s acting versatility.
I add that you will also stick with the show till the end, as I did, simply because you will want to know how Hitoshi ultimately survives the peculiar confrontations. All those out-of-the-world “copies.”
It’s like a weird but yummy candy you can’t stop sucking on.
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