Frantic (2021) Review


A coming-of-age crime suspense film by Fujii Hidetake, director of “Mad Peeps” and “Chou Mimetic Human”, about anger against a society that makes life difficult. It is the first day of a theater company’s stage performance. The theater seats are filled with 200 audience members waiting for the show to begin. However, an accident offstage leaves one of the troupe members in a critical condition. The chairman of the troupe decides to cancel the performance, but Jushi, a member of the troupe, reacts by locking the doors of the theater, threatening the audience with a Japanese sword in his hand, and locking them up. In the background of this act, there is certain anguish that the actors have been holding on to as they prepare to perform in a large theater.

A theatrical troupe headed by Shogun (Takahiro Ochi) plans a large-scale stage performance in an attempt to break through the lack of public recognition. However, Shogun and Jushi (Toshiki Kudo), a member of the troupe, are in debt to the yakuza because of their involvement with hoodlums. Jushi even contemplates suicide, but an encounter with a woman named Yukino (Ayaka Yamagami) saves his life and his luck seems to be turning around, but he gets caught up in an unexpected incident. The performance finally arrives, but a serious accident occurs offstage. General decides to cancel the performance, but Jushi takes over the theater, wielding a Japanese sword and holding the audience hostage.

The 200 audience members who gathered at the theater were taken hostages. The performers have taken over the theater. What happened to them? Six months ago, the actors were in “distress”. While they were striving for their dreams, society was not kind to them. Trapped in a corner, they made a once-in-a-lifetime decision. It was a robbery plan for a stage performance with everything at stake.

Twenty years have passed since the stage performance that terrified the audience. Hidetake Fujii, winner of the Grand Prix in the Asian section of the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, one of the world’s three major fantastic film festivals, adapted the “theater occupation incident” that was said to be impossible to make into a film. This is a “frenzied” coming-of-age crime thriller that overwhelms the audience with unpredictable suspense, focusing on a young man of 29 years old who struggles between “light and shadow,” “hope and despair,” and “intercuts.

The cast is made up of 29-year-old talented actors who won large-scale auditions, including Takahiro Ochi, who is active in commercials, Toshiki Kudo, who is exploding as a very popular TikToker, and Ayaka Yamagami, a former member of the music unit “DiVA” selected from AKB48. It’s not a play anymore. The “anger” of these actors becomes a “cry” that overwhelms the audience. This is the world of madness you need to see.


  • Movie: Frantic
  • Native Title: 半狂乱
  • Also Known As: Han Kyoran
  • Genres: Crime
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Nov 12, 2021

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