The raucous comedy-of-errors “The Stand-in Thief” is set to steal guffaws from the audience today in the Special Screenings section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. The work is based on a stage play by writer Masafumi Nishida, who has adapted his own theater piece and directed it for the screen.
In addition to mistaken identity and pratfalls “The Stand-in Thief” constructs a clever story where a group of strangers unleash their inner imagination to help a struggling author.
The witty story revolves around Hajime (Ryuhei Maruyama), an earnest hard-working 20-something. Suddenly Norio (Daisuke Miyagawa), a petty criminal from Hajime’s past, reappears and forces Hajime to help with a robbery. They break in, but are surprised by guests, forcing Hajime to stand-in as the resident of the property. The house actually belongs to a famous children’s writer who apparently needs creative help. Hajime and others end up aiding the writer’s creative process.
International sales are being handled by Hakuhodo and sales representative Yoshimi Takahata says it is in advanced talks with distributors in Korea, Taiwan and China. “The performances in this film are great. The comedy is well done and it can reach people internationally,” said Takahata.