The Bastard and the Beautiful World (2018)

Weird anthology film
Reviewed by Simon on 2024-04-29

Weird anthology film featuring four distinct segments that each seems like a fragment of something larger - though not necessarily the same larger thing.

Sion Sono's segment is fun with colourful characters and sets, beautifully lensed with a magnificent Tadanobu Asano performance. Things get surreal and maybe a little creepy in the following segment and take a turn for the heart-breaking and character-driven in the third, before a wild finale brings the preceding stories together in a surreal musical cabaret that doesn't so much offer conclusion as ridicule you for seeking it.

I'm not sure there's any larger purpose to any of it other than allowing the directors some freedom to flex and explore ideas that wouldn't warrant a feature film on their own terms. It's a bit befuddling but consistently intriguing, and at times very nicely shot. The art direction in Sono's section in particular is astonishing.

Not essential viewing, but a worthwhile curio.