WHAT THE HEART CRAVESAfter a mutual friend’s wedding, Mukai and his ex-girlfriend Shitara meet the charismatic Kurata in a bar. He performs a magic trick in which the identical looking house keys of the three are mixed up. The absurdly misfired attempts to get the right keys back to their owners put Mukai’s relationship to his mentally unstable girlfriend Kozue to a difficult test. Musunde-hiraite unmistakably bears the signature of the idiosyncratic young writer-director Takahashi Izumi. A narrative reduced to very few people and places of action; disturbed communication; fragile relationships, based on repression, lies, dependency, and aggression; laboriously suppressed fantasies of violence and unmanaged trauma. In his second directorial effort, Takahashi is supported by an outstanding ensemble of actors, who know how to play the chasms and the monstrosities that loom behind the characters’ bourgeois façade with subtle but sometimes frightening intensity. Hirosue Hiromasa as Kurata, plagued by morbid forebodings, and Namiki Akie as the borderline personality Kozue, equal parts dangerous and endangered, in particular stick in the memory.