If you are a vegetarian, stop reading this now. If you have a love for beef and Yakiniku (grilled meat), by all means, please continue. First time director, screenwriter and noted yakinuku lover Jimon Terakado debuted his film “Food Luck” at the 33rd Tokyo International Film Festival. The film stars Naoto (Exile) as Yoshito, a freelance writer specializing in restaurant reviews. The movie starts with flash backs to when he was a child enjoying the meat prepared by her mother Yasue (Ryo), a yakiniku restaurateur.
Yoshito appreciated eating his mom’s cooking and their eatery was quite popular. Things changed after a well known food critic Tatsuya Furuyama (Satoru Matsuo) distributed false reviews about their yakiniku eatery. This caused a sharp drop in customers. Yasue struggled to continue the business but in turn withdrew some attention from her son. Because of this, Yasue chose to close down the eatery.
18 years later, Yoshito is estranged from her mother and at some point takes work for another online food site. He works with editor Shizuka Takenaka (Tao Tsuchiya). Their first project includes reviewing yakiniku restaurants. Around this time, Yoshito hears that his mother is stricken with cancer.
At the World Premiere, the director was joined by its two stars for a stage appearance. Terakado, famously known as a comedian was his usual humorous self but offered insights on food and the film. He stressed that he wants people to continue eating and to help energize the restaurant community which has been severely impacted by Covid-19. He stated that some of the restaurants in the film actually exist and unfortunately some have gone out of business. In addition, he discussed the parallels between eating and the human relationship between mother and son.
Actress Tao Tsuchiya brings her usual charm to the film and stated she was happy to participate in the festival despite these difficult times. She also praised her co-star’s focus to give power to his character and hopes the film travels beyond borders.
Naoto, of popular Japanese group EXILE, talked about the importance of family and echoed the sentiments of Tsuchiya and his director. He also revealed that he and his co-star may have been eating up to 13-14 slices of beef per take!
The movie is distributed by Shochiku and will be released in Japanese theaters on November 20th.