Every once in a while a movie comes along that validates my ideals; Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter is one of those movies. It is a tribute to humanity’s need to dream and believe while paying homage to the medium of film. The movie is written by David and Nathan Zellner and directed by David Zellner, it clearly shows their love of imagination. In Kumiko, Rinko Kikuchi plays the title character; a jaded woman who finds an old videotape of the Cohen Brother’s classic Fargo and mistakes it for historical documentation. She becomes fixated on the treasure, the fortune buried by Steve Buschemi’s character in the movie, and she travels to Minnesota to find it.
The film is about adventure and perseverance. The film closely studies Kumiko as a character. The first act is entirely devoted to examining her life in Japan. She is an outcast, disillusioned and unwilling to conform to societal norms. As the camera follows her through her life, we see that she does not get along with her coworkers and her boss questions her lifestyle. At 29, the expectation is that she be married and start a family, not working as an office lady. Her lifestyle also places her as an outsider. She spends her free time in her nightgown examining her video of Fargo; the only company she keeps is her bunny Bunzo. Her appearance is wild; she has untamed hair and lurks through the underground in layers of black with an oversized red hoodie. She is a sharp contrast to the sea of crisp beige suits around her. While Kumiko is immediately portrayed as an oddity, her passion and determination make her immediately compelling.
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