This is glorious and tough to watch in equal measure. Glorious in its visuals. Tough in that you are watching a journey into a depression…and no one can help.
In a nutshell, Kumiko, an introverted Tokyo woman, finds a VHS copy of Fargo and it convinced that the suitcase of money Steve Buscemi buries in the snow is a real treasure. One for her to find. And she heads out to Minnesota to find it. In the dead of winter.
Like Fargo, it starts out with the words “This is a true story” — in fact, its the words on the TV as Kumiko watches them. And while its true that a Tokyo woman flew to Minnesota to trek across in the dead of winter is true, that it is tied to watching Fargo has been delegated to an urban myth.
The IDEA that this might happen is probably what sparked director Zellner’s imagination.
Other people have interpreted it as a metaphor for depression. Or a comment on how the line between reality and media is continually getting more and more blurred. However, I have a different potential slant: that there is a message about pursuing a dream that no one else believes is real, and how those doubts and societal pressures try to derail you.
Regardless, this film isn’t going to be for everyone. Lots may get to the credits and say “Huh?” But, for those who can take the ambiguity, I think it’ll be clear.