Plot & Details
A curious man struggles with the death of a loved one in a number of strange ways in this comedy drama from Japan. Takuro (Koji Yakusho) is a middle-aged musician-turned-day trader who embraces a variety of eccentric "success" credos. Takuro has a teenage son, Takuya (Eita), who is in love with a pretty girl named Hikari (Fumi Nikaido). Takuya and his family live in Tokyo while Hikari is in Yokosuka; he often travels to see her, and while driving home from a visit, he's involved in a fatal car crash. While those around Takuro are devastated by his son's death, the father largely deals with his loss by ignoring it; when Hikari calls for Takuya, Takuro pretends to be his late son rather than tell the girl her boyfriend has died. Takuro develops a flirtatious telephone relationship with Hikari, who is none the wiser about whom she's speaking with, but it's not until his work sends him on a long trip that Takuro comes to terms with what he's doing and how his life has been changed by his son's death. Toad's Oil was the first directorial project for Koji Yakusho, who has earned a reputation as one of Japan's most respected and successful actors.