Handsome Suit (Hansmu Sutsu) (2008) Film Review

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Handsome Suit is my pick of the festival so far. It is so funny, with a truly unexpected twist at the end that was perfect. The story is of Okhi, an overweight and ugly man running his late mother’s diner in suburban Tokyo. Whilst his customers and friends love him, he repulses women and is desperately lonely. Okhi is the perfect test subject for the producers of the Handsome Suit – a suit which, when worn, turns him into Hikariyama Annin. But is the happiness that beauty and wealth offer him greater than the happiness of his former life?

Handsome Suit was a late entry into the festival, replacing another film on the line-up. Looking online, it was actually released in 2008. I am so pleased that this film was included.  Muga Tsukaji and Shosuke Tanihara are marvelous as the two sides of Okhi – the ugly and the handsome. The comedy is slapstick and over-the-top as you would expect from film based on a manga series, but there is such heart. It is not getting another play at this festival, but keep your eyes open on SBS or at your specialty DVD shops. Definitely worth it.

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