Kimura returns in second Hero film
TAKUYA Kimura is back as maverick public prosecutor Kohei Kuryu in the film Hero, the second film adaptation based on the popular Japanese TV series of the same name.
The TV show the film is based on started running in 2001 and is about the fictitious Josai branch office of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office. The first film was released in 2007. Kimura, a member of Japanese boy band Smap, known for his Gatsby commercials, starred in both productions.
"The last movie was the first one, so the challenge started from zero. When it was decided to make another theatrical release, I wanted to make something different from TV; in a way, I was seeking shackles of a sort," Kimura, 42, said.
In the latest movie, Kuryu looks into a case involving a traffic accident, in which a woman was hit by a car and killed. The accident happened near the embassy of the principality of Neustria, so Kuryu tries to glean information from embassy officers. However, diplomatic privileges get in his way.
If Kimura was aiming to make the new film special, it certainly has that in the return of Maiko Amamiya, played by Takako Matsu.
Amamiya was a capable deputy to Kuryu, but she left the Josai branch office and did not appear in the TV drama's second series last year. In the new film, she appears as a public prosecutor and works on a case with Kuryu.
Fans of the series will relish the return of the verbal spats between Amamiya and Kuryu. The film also introduces a man who met Amamiya through a matchmaker as her potential husband. Will there be any developments in Kuryu and Amamiya's relationship?
"In the previous film, they kissed at the end and that was it. But there was nothing in the script (of the new film) to suggest what happened afterwards. It's an unclear area even for us as the actors," Kimura said.
Kuryu gives everything to the cases he works on, but he seems a bit nonchalant about romance. "I guess it's a low priority for him," Kimura said.
The singer-actor discussed with Matsu how to perform their final scene in the new film before the shoot. He thinks they did justice to the characters and is proud of it.
"It's like we want people to watch over us warmly," he said.
Kuryu is a terrific match for Kimura and has become his most successful role. Will Kuryu continue being a "hero" for many more years?
"People tend to think of it that way, but I see it differently. The title Hero means that each and every member of the Josai branch office, and every person in front of you, has the potential to be a hero," he said.
THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Hero is slated to open in Singapore cinemas on Oct 8.