iSugio

Go Find a Psychic! – Review

by Miguel Douglas

@isugoi

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Once a year, on Christmas Eve, Cafe Telekinesis holds a real psychic party. At the party, psychics gather together to show off their abilities while for the rest of the year they hide their abilities. Yone Sakurai is a program director for a psychic variety TV show called “Asunaro Psychic”. Yone actually believes in psychic abilities, and by an audience request, a new plan is set out for the program—a plan that requires the show to uncover real psychics. Yone is selected to find these people throughout the nation, but ends up empty handed each time. Before Yone ends her search she makes one last stop at Cafe Psychic on Christmas Eve. Can the true psychics there, who all despise Yone’s TV show, hide their abilities from Yone?

I, like many others reading this, probably grew up wishing they had special powers or extraordinary abilities. Based on our enjoyment of cartoons, comics, or films when we were children, we tended to incorporate many playful philosophies into our daily routine—whether it be our ability to fly, showcase extreme strength, or shoot lasers from our eyes—we enjoyed looking at our ordinary world through extraordinary eyes. As we grew older though, most of us began to view the world in a more practical sense, convincing ourselves that such supernatural abilities simply don’t exist. Go Find a Psychic! is a film that harkens back to the old days in which our imagination played a key part in our lives, and allowed us to vividly view the world through a more imaginative mindset.

It’s certain to say that Go Find a Psychic! is a film that pokes fun at the various extreme lengths that people will go in order to have fame attached to their name. Whether it’s showcasing extravagant abilities that really aren’t extravagant at all, or blatantly lying that one even has such special abilities to begin with, the film offers a humorous atmosphere to the audience by showing the absurdities of such claims that permeate our very own lives. Presuming it’s rather instinctual for many of us to dislike being consider ordinary—or even worse, normal—the film effectively combines this rather minuscule logic with that of comedy, which works out great given the film’s premise. There are some tremendously funny moments within the film, particularly when the psychics are attempting to hide their abilities from the likes of the ordinary people of the world. They really don’t want to be famous and have their abilities exploited for the sole purpose of entertaining others. There is matter of respect for one’s ability, but the film interweaves between showing the rather trivial things they use them for, which often times leads to the numerous comedic scenarios throughout the film.

Considering the large cast at hand, chemistry is essential—and thankfully it works here. The cast ensemble is really a joy to watch—not simply because they play nicely off each other, but mainly because throughout a majority of the film, they are confined to one setting. The setting—Café Telekinesis—provides the characters a great opportunity to share a common livelihood given the rather enclosed nature of the environment. While other films jump from one setting to the next, Go Find a Psychic! plays it low-key on purpose, and with the film being derived from a stage play, it’s crucial for the dialogue and interaction to work out effectively given such a setting. The back and forth dialect is both humorous and emotional given the current state that the individuals live in, which is a life of constant secrecy. Perhaps it’s important to consider that these people don’t want the fame that their supernatural abilities will certain ascribe to them, but choose to remain incognito for reasons most of us would certainly understand given the current affairs of the entertainment business. The way the film delivers different views on how we should approach supernatural abilities is also quite different from many other films—while the true psychics wish to remain anonymous, the fake psychics wish to showcase their fake abilities in an attempt to convince their audience they are true psychics. The obvious problem with the latter is that it’s certainly only for personal fame and wealth—which makes for a very interesting juxtaposition.

Overall, Go Find a Psychic! is delightful film for what it offers. It presents a very intriguing premise not often viewed in other films dealing with similar topics, and as a fun romp into the supernatural, it isn’t afraid to poke fun at the way mainstream society views such proposed phenomena. Director Katsuyuki Motohiro has yet again proven his ability to combine comedic elements with that of the supernatural, in turn essentially creating wholesome scientific comedies. Consisting of a large and diverse cast, humorous dialogue, and an interesting look into the world of exploiting the supernatural, the film is a funny satire on how we view the rather ordinary in the most extraordinary ways, and delivers us back to the possibility that this phenomena could exist out there somewhere in the world—it just hasn’t been discovered yet.

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Author: Miguel Douglas

As an avid viewer of both Japanese animation and cinema for more than a decade now, Miguel is primarily concerned with establishing a critical look into both mediums as legitimate forms of artistic, cultural, and societal understanding. Never one to simply look at a film or series based solely on superficiality, Miguel has dedicated himself towards bringing awareness to Asian entertainment and its various facets.

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