'Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter' [Blu-ray]
(Rinko Kikuchi, Shirley Vendard, Nobuyuki Katsube, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2015 / Anchor Bay Entertainment)
Overview: ‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ is the story of an odyssey that is also an oddity! Directed by David Zellner, Kumiko is a cubicle-bound office worker seeking to escape her dour working life. Relying on her imagination and unabashed courage, Kumiko thinks she has found a way out: she has become obsessed with a battered tape of a popular film - mistaking it for a documentary. Fixating on a scene involving the burial of a suitcase full of stolen cash in North Dakota, she sets out to the beak landscape to recover it - and so begins her dangerous adventure.
Blu ray Verdict: I have to say I don’t think that I have EVER seen a movie quite like ‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ in my entire life! I mean, wow, from the storyline to the actual cinematic experience, the acting to the dialogue, the film is a pure joy to behold. Refreshing and crisp, especially given that bleak North Dakota landscape, the set up for ‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ is delightful - and, weirdly enough, rather believable!
And so, once our heroine has immersed herself inside this “documentary,” and has totally convinced herself that this suitcase of stolen cash is indeed truly buried in North Dakota, she sets out with her beloved rabbit Bunzo (!) to find it. Naive to the core, and yet chock full of spirit, belief and courage, Kumiko embarks on this mystical journey unknowing setting in motion a chain of events that will provide her obstacles down the line that are both dangerous and hard to circumvent.
Supposedly inspired by an urban legend (!), ‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ brings us the story, step by step, worrying look by thoughtful scenario calculations, of one young woman’s beguiling journey of determination and, of course, delusion. The cinematography is stunning here and that is all due to Sean Porter (2015 Independent Spirit Award nominee for ‘It Felt Like Love’), because what he has created as the landscape Kumiko finds herself walking is at times stark, cold, and yet beautiful and beguiling all at the same time.
‘Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’ reveals the pitfalls of an over zealous mind, of a delusional mind, of the peril’s and enticements that are found as shiny, glowing jewels within those minds to those that see them. Sure it has an underlying narrative of mental health, but overall it is a story of belief, of hard work, and of an undying commitment to fulfill a destiny. Something that I hope resides in us all. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director David Zellner, Writer/Producer Nathan Zellner & Producer Chris Ohlson
Deleted & Alternate Scenes