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Fantastic Fest 2017 Review: 3ft Ball and Souls

Sep 27, 2017

By Matt Kahkonen

Never judge a movie based on a weird title. 3ft Ball and Souls is a moving fantasy about a group of strangers who come together to commit suicide via the  detonation of a 3ft Ball of fireworks. 

Of course there’s a catch: every time they kill themselves, time resets to the same moment, minutes before they set off the fireworks bomb. If you’re not aware, suicide is a massive issue in Japan, the film’s country of origin, and this movie works as both a new take on Groundhog Day and as a message to anyone contemplating suicide. 

Viewed purely as a film, it’s a damn good one. Taking place primarily in one room with four people, every actor and actress has to be excellent or the film would fall apart. Thankfully they all pull their weight and then some. There’s plenty of humor in the movie despite the heavy subject matter it deals with, but there are also some very emotional moments that speak to the power of therapy and of having someone to talk through your issues with. 

This is the kind of movie that might come off as too sappy or melodramatic if it was made in the US. For whatever reason though, This movie pulls it off. The ending maybe ties things up in a bit too perfect of a package for my taste, and they probably could have cut a solid 15 minutes from the ending, but other than those small gripes, I give 3ft Ball and Souls a couple big thumbs up. It’s not perfect, but it’s entertaining and inspirational filmmaking that’s worth seeing.

Final Grade: 7/10