Kurutta Kajitsu (crazed Fruit) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Kurutta Kajitsu (crazed Fruit) Reviews

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Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
July 17, 2018
What a fascinating film this is. Elements of it surprised me for 1956, and in particular for a Japanese movie. It seems to me a forerunner of the French New Wave, and that this archetypal 'Sun Tribe' effort represents an even bigger departure from traditional Japanese cinema at the time than those films would be to the French. No wonder Franšois Truffaut was such a fan of it.

The story is straightforward - two brothers fall for the same woman - but this is a film about tone, and context. Everything about it screams post-war, disaffected youth. A group of young men are bored, critical of traditional ways, and looking for good times - and young ladies. The younger of the two brothers (Masahiko Tsugawa) has an innocence about him, and falls for a pretty woman (Mie Kitahara) without realizing she's already married. The drama deepens when his older brother (Yujiro Ishihara) begins putting the moves on her behind his back.

The openness with which Kitahara's sexuality is displayed is a little shocking, though there is a grace to it, and it's refreshing to see. She deceives her American husband, and enjoys being the center of attention at a party. With the younger brother she needs to provide encouragement for him to make love to her, in one scene moving his hands up on to her breast. With the older brother, she gives way to his forceful overtures, even after saying 'no' initially. If that sort of thing is a trigger to you, you may want to avoid this one, as it also has the young men competing early on to see who can bring the hottest girl to a party, and other testosterone-fueled chatter. In general, the characters are hard to like, which may also be a turn-off. On the other hand, that's part of the point, and the film shows a reckless and sexually carefree youth in ways that are less inhibited than Hollywood at the time.

All of the principal actors turn in solid performances, and Masumi Okada is quite debonair in a supporting role. Mie Kitahara is quite pretty, and it's interesting that she would marry Ishihara, the actor who plays the older brother, just four years later. There is a little unevenness in the shots director K˘ Nakahira captures - some are just beautiful, while others seem low-budget - but it's an impressive first film, and all the more so as it was a few years ahead of the French New Wave (e.g. Chabrol's Le Beau Serge (1958), Truffaut's 400 Blows (1959), Godard's Breathless (1960), etc). It seems to me the film ought to be better known.
½ May 19, 2018
Japanese rebelious teenagers trying to figure out things and brothers competing for attention. I got a little fed up with the motivations, but this is certainly something unlike anything else.
½ March 14, 2015
Brilliant and seminal.
½ December 2, 2014
Excellent debut film by Ko Nakahira. Crazed Fruit is a tale of young love and lust that garnered a lot of attention for its negative portrayal of contemporary youth.
Super Reviewer
September 27, 2014
So what might be the best way to attract your attention to a New Wave classic that is both worth-watching and worth 86 minutes of the time of your life? Well, listing is always more attractive to the eye. So, this film is many things:

- K˘ Nakahira's debut, who is one of the important names in the Japanese New Wave.
- Controversial upon its initial release because of its depiction of delinquent Japanese youth.
- Considered as the pioneer work in the Japanese "taiyozoku" (sun tribe) subgenre, characterized by a notorious lack of adult presence, and the characters embodying the yearnings of Japan's post-war disillusioned youth.
- A predecessor not to the French New Wave (many Nouvelle Vague followers, including myself, consider the movement in France to have begun in 1955), but definitely to the portrayal of youth in any classic New Wave movement: Yugoslav, American, Czechoslovak, and even French.
- A film that Truffaut tremendously enjoyed, which not only impulsed him to recommend it to the Cinematheque, but also inspired him to make films with a particular style.
- A complete embodiment of what any New Wave movement of the 50s and 60s stands for, excluding the technically experimental/abstract side: a jazzy soundtrack, exploration of sexuality, the physical vacation settings of a moral tale by Rohmer (very conveniently... you'll see why), and an equally convenient lack of adult authorities.

It also has Truffaut's enthusiasm, Chabrol's macabre intentions, Rohmer's reflections on morality about relationships and affairs, and very, very brief "intellectual discussions" in the vein of Godard and Rohmer. If it wasn't because of some brief depictions of Japanese architecture, not even the language could have convinced me that this is a Japanese feature: it is a bloody French film, containing an interesting number of elements that preceded all of the Nouvelle Vague directors. In my book, "influential" is a very correct term to coin. With a climax worth of Polanski's Polish debut (that mirrors an important number of characteristics as well!), Crazed Fruit, although not legendary or masterful, is an absolutely essential viewing for those willing to venture into what is officially known as the N?beru b?gu, better known as the Japanese New Wave. Simple as that.


P.S. One scene that has the infamous vixen lying down with one of the brothers looking at the night sky while half of the frame's background consists of the dark ocean glittering in the middle of the darkness is one shot I will never forget.
½ November 22, 2013
Little-known mid-50s Japanese teen drama. Lurid for its time and tame for ours. Still, it's an excellent time capsule.
June 16, 2013
Ko Nakahira's energetic drama about two brothers in love with the same wild girl may seem timid by today's standards, but it was a raucous and daring film when it was released in the mid-sixties. It ushered in a whole new generation of audacious filmmakers- the inimitable Nagisa Oshima, for one- and stood also as an interesting premonition of other up-and-coming movements, like the French New Wave. It is notable for many things, not the least of which is its wild and unpredictable ending, but I think its best and most noteworthy quality is its cast, and the way Nakahira directs them through his story. The love triangle is so naturalistic, and each character has his or her own admirable and despicable qualities. Nakahira constantly shifts angles, showing us the drama from the eyes of each of these characters at different times. The story centers on the brothers and their role as a part of the zoku, or "sun tribe"- a term used to describe the Japanese youth counterculture of the 1950s and 60s who seemed aimless and carefree, content to lay on the beach as permanent vacationers. When the girl who will come between them enter their lives (played wonderfully by Mie Kitahara), she pierces through the boys so easily that Nakahira seems to be commenting on the fragility of such a culture, or perhaps of youth in general. He seems to be damning the youth of the future, but he never asks for an apology. Instead he presents a teenage tragedy as something that is, has always been and will always be- an unfortunate but unavoidable slice of life.
½ March 20, 2012
A good film, but the ending......what just happened?
½ January 22, 2012
Aimless youth, Japanese style.
June 22, 2011
Crazed Fruits surprised me a lot. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. It's one of the great coming of age stories with a acute touch of humor. I think I was surprised because rarely do I see Japanese movies adapt such modern and youthful subject matters.
½ March 31, 2011
(*** 1/2): Thumbs Up

A well-acted, written, and directed Japanese film about life and love in post-war Japan. A highly memorable film.
July 19, 2010
Landmark "troubled youth" film from Japan that marked the transition of their culture post WWII. The characters are underdeveloped, but the depiction of lust and youthful hedonism is evovative, as is the mounting Hitchcockian finale that is an over-the-top culmination.
½ March 2, 2010
a landmark film in japanese cinema, symbolizing the countrys migration away from the traditional, pre-war way of life. the western influence is very apparent in the film with the use of jazz tones, the emphasis on youth and its disenchantment and changing values. and a great ending.
February 20, 2010
This is what we're talking about. Hot sun, hot bodies, and cool cool water. The story plays out like a Marlon Brando case of wild ones, and it is all about youth gone wild. Underneath all the comedy and carefree casting off of the old ways, all liberated by the freedom of speedboats and other technologies, there is something darker. No matter how modern we think we are, old emotions, like jealousy between brothers competing for the same woman, can sneak up and overturn our vehicles. A lot of beautiful cinematography and some genuinely arousing shots that don't reveal anything but suggest everything, and one or two that singe the edges off the screen. This movie was hot enough in '56 to cause and uproar and is still hot today. Gidget At The Beach was never this good.
February 11, 2010
Crazed Fruit has lots going for it, first off the themes throughout this film are rather risqu├ę for the time especially Japan. Following two brothers on vacation on the beach as they chase women and party with friends, things take a turn for disaster once both brothers start chasing the same girl. Filmed just like American Noir film from the same era, with alot of the attetion on the actor's facial expression and that foreboding feeling that something bad will happen at any time. All around great film that really makes the most out of a cast of nobodies and I'm guessing a fairly low budget.
½ December 19, 2009
There must have been something in the air with teens circa 1955. Rebel without a Cause, Summer with Monika, Kon Ichikawa's Punishment Room, and this. The Japanese films were the most sexually frank, with things that Jimmy Dean and Natalie Wood would never have done. Crazed Fruit has some good things going for it. It does have a great summer atmosphere in which the summer is too lazy, with idle hands etc. In a supporting role, Masumi Okada steals every scene as Frank, the teen leader and "melancholic" ladies' man. Also Toru Takemitsu did some of the swinging but astringently modernist score.
½ October 9, 2009
The build-up is stuff that may have been provocative at the time, but is pretty mundane nowadays. The last 15 minutes are superb, though. I dunno, the movie was good but it doesn't strike me as especially meritorious. It may be a seminal film, but only in regards to a genre (taiyozoku, or "Sun Tribe") that's ultimately inconsequential.
July 21, 2009
The ending made me burst into uncontrolable clapping and yelling.
July 8, 2009
Crazed Fruit created quite a stir when it was first released - mainly due to it's depiction of the amoral youths in such a traditional-minded society as Japan. This was post-war Japan, afterall and the youths there too began questioning the values of their elders (very much in keeping with the youths in american & european society which resulted in the social upheavals of the 1960's.)

The story focuses on two brothers (Masahiko Tsugawa & Yojiro Ishihara).
They seem to be part of an affluent but idle class - all they want to do all day is go boating, water ski and chase girls and party with their friends. One day at a train station they meet a beautiful young girl named Eri (Mie Kitahara). The younger brother is immediately stricken with her beauty. They eventually bump into her again and invite her to go boating. It is then that the older brother too becomes attracted to the girl. It's the dynamics of this triangle and the revelations of the girl's character which will drive the drama along.

But I also sense an even subtler, darker theme here too. That the ways of the materialistic and listless youths can also be blamed on the post-war influence of the west - namely the United States.

I think the film retains a freshness in look mainly due it's italian neo-realist style - and is also in keeping with the New Wave in France. The cool and jazzy score fits right in to the story. Some sexually frank scenes may have been a sensation in it's time but relatively quite tame by today's standards.
½ May 9, 2009
A different and probably more real vision of young people, compared to other Japanese movies of the 50's. Good photography and a tragic end that makes it be a great story to be seen.
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