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MOVIES (GFF 2023): Plan 75 - Review

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Chie Haywkawa’s Plan 75 is a science fiction movie that’s grounded in reality: Japan have introduced a controversial program to deal with a super-aged society, and the film deals with the lives of the people that that decision impacts: a young Filipino labourer or an elderly woman whose means of survival are slowly running out of options are our main characters – in this well shot, entirely devastating social-realist drama where the touches of sci-fi feel barely present.

With the narrative between the different storylines designed to show how wide a plan like this could have impacted everyday lives I do think Plan 75 needed a bit more focus as it was very scattershot in the stories it chose to portray. Chieko Baisho is a highlight, completely powerful – and whilst there’s nothing wrong with each of these storylines individually I do think grouping them together did a major disservice. This film deals with the broader context of an issue that Japan deals with an aging society, with money being given to those who wish to take their own lives to cover funeral costs. It’s interesting to see its perception towards older people with society showing such a lack of care for life by society it’s not wrong to call Plan 75 dystopian, a representation of real problems taken to the extreme not unlike Russell T. Davies’ brilliant Years and Years - we're under attack for the way our elders are treated here, and you can see the DNA of the film in reality.

The film’s opening is where it’s at its strongest – focused and reigned in, and there are moments of deep emotional impact that really leave a mark, but I do feel like Plan 75 on the whole is something of a let-down.

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