New Japanese Film First Gentleman Sees a Female Prime Minister and Falls Flat

First Gentleman

First Gentleman Film comes at an interesting time. Fumio Kishida was sworn in as Japan’s 100th Prime Minister earlier this year. However, the role may have landed on Sanae Takaichi or Seiko Noda, two Liberal Democratic Party candidates who were also in the race. They were both aiming to be Japan’s 1st female Prime Minister. As a result, Hayato Kawai’s latest film, 総理の夫, couldn’t have arrived at a better moment.

It portrays the narrative of a female candidate (Miki Nakatani) who breaks through the barrier and, as a result, elevates her husband (Kei Tanaka) to the position of nation’s first gentleman. As a result, the title. Unfortunately, the only elements the film gets right are the timing and the casting.

First Gentleman Propaganda Hits Studio Pocket Books

First Gentleman
© Nikkatsu

The screen play by Saya Matsuda and Noriaki Sugihara just didn’t hit the marks it was attempting to achieve. First Gentleman gets off to a wonderful start. Hiyori Soma, played by Tanaka, embarks on an ornithological research mission to Hokkaido’s countryside, where he and his colleagues have no communication with normal civilization. As he emerges 10 days later, he is surprised to learn that his wife Rinko, the former leader of Japan’s opposition party, has become the nation’s first female Prime Minister during his research trip. The premise is amusing, and it provides you with optimism that the entire movie will be equally entertaining.

The producers of this tenaciously adorable comedy, on the other hand, appear to have been more concerned with offending people than with the potential that realism would overpower them. Even the mildest parody seemed to be too much for the “First Gentleman.” In comparison, Koki Mitani’s amiable 2019 political comedy “Hit Me Anyone One More Time” looks like Shakespeare when compared side by side.

Events are going on during the film, but they aren’t particularly significant. Hiyori’s unique status as the first gentleman doesn’t affect his life in a new way, except from preventing him from embarking on another academic excursion. Later, he is tricked and blackmailed as part of a conspiracy, predictably, by another politician to depose Rinko as Prime Minister. That, however, fades soon, and the existence of Rinko’s “rival” seems to not really matter the entire film, save for one dramatic and excellently acted meeting.

The majority of the plot is merely a succession of events with no follow-up, and the only thing keeping viewers from leaving the theater out of boredom is Nakatani’s outstanding performance. She seamlessly transitions from displaying strength and confidence to displaying love, tenderness, and sad fragility. It’s depressing that she didn’t have a compelling story to harness her talents fully, but she managed to do so earnestly despite the weak script given to her.

  • Movie: First Gentleman
  • Native Title: 総理の夫
  • Also Known As: Prime Minister’s Husband, Souri no Otto, Sori no Otto
  • Director: Kawai Hayato
  • Screenwriter: Sugihara Noriaki
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2021

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