This story is set in Tokyo in the troubled days of 1940. Japan has embarked upon a course of war with China, signed the tripartite alliance with Italy and Germany and is moving towards the wider conflagration of World War II. Amid this gathering storm, a comedy playwright is pitted against an all-powerful state censor. This story follows the battle of wills that develops between these two passionate and committed characters over the course of seven days.
In creating this story, Koki MITANI drew upon the real life character of Sakae KIKUYA, a playwright who wrote for Japan's most popular wartime comedian, “Enoken”, (Kenichi ENOMOTO). After battling police censorship to preserve the people's right to laughter, he was eventually drafted and died in battle at the age of 35. His scripts are still considered masterpieces of comic writing and Mitani regards him as a profound inspiration.
This project came out of a desire to pay homage to this “god-like” figure and look at the importance of laughter in human affairs.
This current project is one of his best-known theatrical works. When first performed in 1996 it took Japanese theater by storm and won unanimous critical support. Since it was such a tightly-worked theatrical piece, there were those who thought it impossible to adapt for the screen. However after a rewrite that added various layers and changed the ending, Mitani professed “this is perhaps my best work and I found that I could achieve things I couldn't on stage”.
Time is 1940 and Tokyo is a city prepared for war. Freedom of thoughts is under siege and government controls on the entertainment industry grow more severe by the day. Behind the closed doors of an interrogation room in the Metropolitan Police Department, two men are lining up for a showdown. One is Hajime TSUBAKI (Goro INAGAKI) resident playwright of the theatrical group “University of Laughs”, the other is Police Censor, Mutsuo SAKISAKA.
According to Sakisaka, Tsubaki's latest script is “beyond the pale of acceptable”; not only is it set in a foreign land with foreign characters “in utter disregard” of the times, but the censor is hostile towards the whole notion of comedy for its own sake. He is determined to shut down the play and as he makes increasingly unreasonable demands for changes, Tsubaki fells the pressure of persecution.
However, such is his desperation to secure the coveted stamp of approval, that the playwright responds to each charge while refusing to relinquish the script's humor. In his view, it's precisely because war is imminent that the regular people need to be able to laugh. Needless to say this attitude is guaranteed to provoke the censor in exactly the wrong way.
However a strange force is at work. As Tsubaki attempts to field the demands of his rival, a man who has never made a joke in his life, ironically the scripts grows more and more interesting. Tsubaki is intrigued by this development. Sakisaka, after his initial fury wears off, is somewhat perplexed and embarrassed before finally giving in to delight at the creative process.
Before they know it, they are collaborating in the writing of the script.
หนังเรืิ่องฮาๆ แสดงนำโดย โกโร่ อดีตนักร้องดังวงสแมปที่ตอนนี้ผันตัวมาเป็นนักแสดงอย่างเต็มตัว และทำได้ดีมากในบทของนักเขียนบทหนุ่ม ท่ามกลางยุควิกฤตของกรุงโตเกียวปี 1940 ช่วงสงครามโลกครั้งที่ 2 ที่ญี่ปุ่นกำลังบอบช้ำจากผลของการพ่ายแพ้ทางสงคราม และต่อต่้านกระแสวัฒนธรรมตะวันตก เกือบทุกประเภท พระเอกของเรากำลังตกที่นั่งลำบากเมื่อเขาต้องนำบทละครเวที ไปขออนุมัติจากคณะกรรมการเซนเซอร์บทละคร ซึ่งนำโดยนายตัวรวจใหญ่ที่มีความชาตินิยมสูงมาก และไม่ให้บทละครของพระเอกของเราผ่านไปง่ายๆเลย...