Teiichi no Kuni is a school comedy movie which revolves around protagonist Teiichi Akaba and shows his journey to become president of his super prestigious high school’s student council. When I saw the trailer, I just thought it was another one of those silly live-action adaptations. However, when I watched it, I realized that it’s one of the best comedy movies ever made.
Since Kaitei High School has a strong connection to Japanese political circles, every president of its student council in the past has become the prime minister of Japan. The election for the student council president depends on the dynamics of political parties in the school.
Teiichi enrolled at the school with the ambition of becoming the prime minister of Japan and transforming Japan into an ideal nation. Obviously, his objective in the movie is to become the president of the student council. Due to the fact that only second grade students who are nominated by the sitting president are allowed to stand in the election, Teiichi has begun his campaign to become a right-hand man of a leading candidate in order to get a nomination from him for the election next year.
The strongest point of the movie is the ridiculously good performances of the cast members. Masaki Suda portray Teiichi, who commit himself to becoming the president and does whatever it takes, however dirty it is. He doesn’t even mind licking someone’s shoes. His acting is comical and probably over-the-top in some scenes, though it somehow suits the movie and gives an amicable impression on the viewers. The madness of his performance is actually derived from him passionately interpreting Teiichi’s bizarre obsession toward authority and the way he pursues his ambition, which makes viewers smile at him unintentionally. I enjoyed watching the exchanges of Teiichi and his father, Josuke. They are a perfect match as father and son and look like real family. Although Suda and Yoshiba, who plays Josuke, were acting seriously, I couldn’t stop laughing while watching them back and forth. I was impressed the direction of the movie which makes people laugh with the serious performances.
The movie is brilliant as political satire. It’s not just a comedy movie, but political storytelling that revolves around the election for the student council president at the high school. It depicts the people who would do anything to get into power. They don’t hesitate to come to such means as bribery or distortion of the truth. Viewers can see the factional disputes and revolutions. It’s a dark story of a power struggle among the people who take advantage of anyone and anything in order to gain authority.
It reminds viewers of the political situation in their daily lives. There is an overlap between the students, who don’t hesitate to use dirty tricks in order to frame their rivals, and politicians in the real world. It suggests the contemporary politics in Japan.
Teiichi no Kuni is a comedy movie anyone can enjoy. However it has a serious message questioning us about what is an essential element as a politician. It’s a masterpiece movie that is entertaining and in the meantime, contains a compelling message. It’s the must-watch comedy movie of 2017.