Aka: The Wow-Choten Hotel | Uchoten Hoteru
Directed: Koki Mitani
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Cast: Koji Yakusho, Takako Matsu, Koichi Sato, Shingo Katori, Ryoko Shinohara, Joe Odagiri, Kumiko Aso,
IMDB: Uchoten Hoteru
Synopsis / Plot
Koji Yakusho (familiar in the West for “Shall We Dance?”, Cannes-award winning, “The Eel” and the long-awaited “Memoirs of a Geisha”) leads the pack as one of a pair of mismatched and dueling Deputy Managers. His courteous and gentlemanly character is our guide through the ensuing tribulations as he tries to maintain calm and placate the increasingly oddball General Manager.
As if staff politics and preparations for the party alone were not enough to deal with, his professional headaches worsen when his ex-wife turns up on the arm of a renowned academic leading a convention of deer specialists. But before the night is out, this domestic issue will pale in comparison to other successive problems which threaten further catastrophe. Not only does a scandal-stricken politician hole up in the hotel pursued by the entire press corps but a famous crooner chooses this night to contemplate a highly-visible suicide.
In time-honored tradition, deception piles on top of misunderstanding as nine different layers of story are interwoven in a grand tapestry of the human condition. The audience is uniquely privy to the host of mistaken identities and inevitable subterfuge but just when it seems all might spin out of control, we feel the sure hand of a consummate playwright guiding us. All the threads are gathered and everything works out for the best. Even the ventriloquist’s fugitive duck plays a part in bringing about the final grand, redemption.