Are you familiar with “Bohemian Rhapsody” and how the song is massively epic, how it changes up numerous times but still maintains a clear focus? Well, that is Night Is Short, Walk On Girl.
Earlier this week I got to experience the limited nationwide run of Night Is Short, Walk On Girl in a sold-out theatre. It brings me great pleasure to say it was one of my favorite watches of the year and will definitely be a film I talk about for FilmEra’s best of the year articles. That being said, this film is so over the top that it blows my mind it is able to maintain a coherent story. Like the film, this review may bounce all over the place, but by the end it should all come together. I truly wish I could go into detail about all the events in this film and how they made me feel but this is one of those films that you want to avoid as many spoilers as possible. The trailer does a great job at only showing you the first part of the film before it kicks it up a notch.
I went completely blind into Night Is Short, Walk On Girl—directed by Masaaki Yuasa and based on the novel of the same name written by Tomihko Morimo. I have only experienced one of the director’s work, which left me completely messed up for a few days: Devilman: Crybaby. As you can tell I was expecting another crazy adventure from Yuasa and did he deliver. Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is at heart a romantic comedy between an upper-class university student (Senior) and his underclassman (Junior) whom he has a massive crush on. Throughout one night that feels like a year, we experience the Junior’s adventure as she takes on adulthood, and the Senior’s mission to claim her heart no matter what.
The film wastes no time jumping into crazy shenanigans, but of course it is to be expected given the central characters. For example, there is a character introduced within the first fifteen minutes who refuses to change his underwear until he meets the love of his life (I am not joking). That is only a small portion because as soon as the characters leave the wedding reception, the night truly begins. We soon learn as our heroine enters a bar that she has a large obsession with drinking, till the point she goes on a long monologue about how much she can drink.
Just when you think this film is about hardcore drinking and bar hopping, it changes gears. For you see, Night Is Short, Walk On Girl captures all four seasons of a year in one night, and with each season comes a completely new dilemma. When I tell you this is a pure delight of a film, take my word for it, as I couldn’t stop smiling as the crazy antics these characters got involved in. There is one part of the film that stands out as my favorite: the scene is basically a ten minute long musical chalked full with crazy revelations that made my sold out theatre erupt in laughter.
What makes it such an wonderful watch is how all the characters intertwine with each other and end up forming this amazing bond that lasts one night. Complete strangers come together to share their life stories, happiness, and fears. Just when you think you have them figured out, they reveal a secret about themselves that you didn’t expect. There is an older character who is worried he didn’t leave an impact on anyone in his life, but our heroine breaks down, indicating he has affected everyone within the city without even realizing it. This struck a chord with me because sometimes we forget in life how much of an impact we have on others, no matter how short of a time we are in their lives.
I have to applaud Yuasa and everyone involved, because this film delivers some of the craziest animation I have seen in a film. I think I say at this point I am sold on the director and look forward to whatever he decides to work on next.
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is the perfect film to close out this summer. You never know whom you will encounter or bond with over one crazy night in the city. It is rare I resonate with a film so much, but this is exactly what I needed in my life as a young man and writer. Embrace the night and find your inner youth!