Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy ★★★★

It's a mystery why “Drive My Car” got all the plaudits and this movie, released in the same year by the same director and much, much more impressive, has been relatively ignored. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that none of its three, anthologized “short stories” were written by Haruki Murakami, but even so the narratives are each superior in virtually every way—they’re more engaging, more nimble, and more heartfelt than the meandering crawl of “Drive My Car.” In fact, the third story, “Once Again,” is so exquisitely made that part of its delight is derived from a tension over whether or not Hamaguchi can resist the obvious plot twist that seems to be hinted at throughout its progression. Thankfully his good taste prevails, and it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to pronounce it virtually perfect.

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