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The Happiness of the Katakuris (2001)

Katakuri-ke no kôfuku (original title)
A family moves to the country to run a rustic mountain inn when, to their horror, the customers begin befalling sudden and unlikely fates.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writers:

Ai Kennedy (translation), Kikumi Yamagishi (screenplay)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Kenji Sawada Kenji Sawada ... Masao Katakuri
Keiko Matsuzaka Keiko Matsuzaka ... Terue Katakuri
Shinji Takeda Shinji Takeda ... Masayuki Katakuri
Naomi Nishida Naomi Nishida ... Shizue Katakuri
Kiyoshirô Imawano Kiyoshirô Imawano ... Richâdo Sagawa
Tetsurô Tanba ... Grandpa Jinpei Katakuri
Naoto Takenaka ... TV Reporter / Singer
Tamaki Miyazaki Tamaki Miyazaki ... Yurie Katakuri
Takashi Matsuzaki Takashi Matsuzaki ... Utanômi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yoshiki Arizono Yoshiki Arizono ... Father of the poor family
Chihiro Asakawa Chihiro Asakawa ... Utanômi's girlfriend
Masahiro Asakawa Masahiro Asakawa
Ken'ichi Endô ... Kudou
Moeko Ezawa Moeko Ezawa ... Itako
Mutsumi Fujita Mutsumi Fujita
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Storyline

A pioneer of a man convinces his family to take advantage of news of a road soon to be built through an area of the country that can be had for next to nothing. He, his aging, but wise father, his loving and loyal wife, along with a slow-to-persuade son and a divorced daughter with toddler in hand who also happens to be the narrator, bravely move out to this new space and open a bed and breakfast. They make the place everything anyone could want, as they have so much time to work on it, since no one is making reservations to stay there. Eventually, the customers come...but each one dies while in their room and the family is trying to get rid of the evidence a.s.a.p so as not to ruin their reputation before they even get up and running. One thing leads to another and the bodies have to be moved. Written by Natalie D. Roberts "sonta_en"

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love, Music, Horror, Volcanos. Cinema was never meant to be like this! (UK Release) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 February 2002 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Happiness of the Katakuris See more »

Filming Locations:

Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dentsu, Eisei Gekijo, Ganmo See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kat Von Dee named it her favourite film of all time alongside 'Coneheads' on an episode of 'L.A. Ink'. See more »

Goofs

A piece of flying debris gets caught on Richâdo Sagawaw's stunt wire for a few seconds whilst he begins flying in the junk yard musical scene. See more »

Quotes

Richâdo Sagawa: By order of Queen Elizabeth, give me your cellphone number.
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User Reviews

A goofy, creepy tale with a touch of Sharisharism
17 September 2002 | by regi0n2fanSee all my reviews

Miike Takashi's `Katakuri-ke no Koufuku' is a wonderfully bizarre black comedy musical highly reminiscent of the music videos and live concert performances staged by the now-defunct 80s & 90's J-pop powerhouse Kome Kome Club. Miike's choice of Sawada Kenji as Katakuri Masao further accentuates this similarity, since he strongly resembles K2C co-front man `Carl Smoky' Ishii Tatsuya. The somewhat unpolished song & dance routines (unlike K2C), along with episodic fits of overacting and self-depreciating man-on-a-wire work combine to create a totally off the wall mix of dark humour and Miike's trademark visual gross-outs.

In synopsis, Katakuri Masao is a downsized urbanite who stakes his family's livelihood on restoring a run-down country inn. Masao, along with wife Terue (Matsuzaka Keiko) and father Jinpei (Tamba Tetsuro) reel in their troubled son Masayuki (Takeda Shinji) and divorced daughter Shizue (Nishida Naomi) to create their family dream. But alas, location is everything, and without a major road nearby, the `White Lover's Inn' waits patiently sans customers. When guests finally do begin to arrive, the Katakuris find (through no fault of their own) that their guests have an annoying habit of dying. Not to be discouraged however, the Katakuris do their best to persevere as a family, and find time for a number of offbeat musical numbers in between.

The most irritating character was the second-rate con man Richard Sawada played by actor/singer Iwamano Kiyoshiro, who also played a deadbeat suitor in the TBS dorama, "Boku no Shusshoku". He actually does a fair job at speaking bad gaijin-sounding Japanese, and he's one of the only actors in the movie (to my knowledge) with a musical background. Oh, and the shot with him wearing the Oakley `OverTheTops' is pretty funny. One of the strangest elements to me (besides the opening claymation sequence) was the fact that the prologue & epilogue narratives were voiced in retrospect by the young grand daughter, for no apparent reason. Some reviewers point out the moralistic undertones of family values and such, but I suspect that even this was thrown in by Miike as part of a cold-cocked slap in the face with regards to anything being morally relevant in the film, or making sense for that matter.


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