He Can't Always Live With Himself
'It's Me It's Me,' Japanese Science Fiction
“It’s Me, It’s Me,” the new movie from the Japanese writer-director Satoshi Miki, is a small-scale sci-fi film that is weird, goofy and unprepossessing. But it’s also a brilliant depiction of living in a vortex of curated selves in a gadget-and password-filled culture.
The title comes from a common scam in Japan in which a thief answers a stolen phone with that phrase (“ore ore,” in Japanese). The usually upstanding young salesman Hitoshi (Kazuya Kamenashi) tries this when he takes a phone left by a stranger named Daiki. He convinces Daiki’s mother to send money, and even when she meets him in person, she insists on calling him Daiki. Eventually, Hitoshi encounters Daiki/Hitoshi and another Hitoshi (all different personas played by Mr. Kamenashi). The three form a Gang of Me.
“I’ve never felt so carefree with others!” says one Hitoshi to the others, as they feast on noodles with kimchi, Parmesan and mayonnaise in a messy room. Eventually, though, multiple generations of these copies appear, and he realizes that he can “accept parts of me, but not all of me.” Easy multiplication leads to manic deletion.
There are pleasingly bizarre details: a bad guy with a barely audible whisper, and a rumble in an alley in which Hitoshi fights versions of himself. Though the film is occasionally frustrating and confusing, the modern life it is commenting on is certainly that, too.