Sumida is a severely handicapped man. Despite his physical limitations and contrary to cultural misconceptions about the handicapped, he has all the desires and personality traits of a physically normal man. He loves to party, eat good food and dance to the music of his caregiver Take’s hardcore band. However, Sumida’s life begins falling apart when he develops a crush on his new occasional caregiver Nobuko, an attractive student who volunteers her services to do research for her thesis. Needless to say, the feelings are not reciprocated and when the attractive Nobuko starts spending her free time with Take, Sumida is driven mad with desire and frustration and things take a turn for the worse. The digitally shot low-budget Late Bloomer, the second feature of Go Shibata ( NN-891102 ), is an unlikely, but effective cross between Henry : Portrait of a Serial Killer and My Left Foot. Shibata delivers a feature packed full of dark humour, a bracingly challenging subject, an aweinspiring performance by handicapped actor Masakiyo Sumida and wonderful monochrome-video cinematography by Takakura Masaaki. If you want to see a genuinely distressing and uncompromising film, then Late Bloomer might be right up your alley.

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