In Yasuzo Masumura's Giants and Toys, the central female character is actually not quite so central. Her predicament is that she belongs to a working class environment, her father is actually in the shadow of her mother who is in the shadow of her daughter who is in the shadow of anonymous poverty. Chance brings her in contact with an ambitious businessman, whose fledgling company sales bring him about to think of an audacious idea to defeat his nearest rivals: use an ordinary Tokyo girl's face for an advert in selling their company's goods. The idea is not to use a model but to use an ordinary looking girl, so that the buying public can identify with her. The buying public are brainless he thinks, they are morons he believes, they go with the diktat of the market. Since consumerism is God, and consumers from various sections of society are devourers of goods, sticking them up with such a girl to identify will help improve sales. The sales improve, the girl is transformed from anonymity to a haute-bourgeois, but the plan does not work to script. Something must be done again.
The end is extremely farcical. The boss collapses and coughs up blood because he cannot cope with the strain and his morally upright young understudy, initially defiant of his morally compromised stance, actually puts on a space suit as an ad gimmick as he walks stone faced through a busy Tokyo street, almost like an ordinary street peddler, showing off his company wares, egged on by his old girl friend to actually smile. Our model has faded into anonymity, she is in the hands of her manager, who has already started her exploitation and will continue to exploit her. Giants and Toys is a satire and very well made. The colour scheme is surreal, almost lush with colours. The acting is good but it doesn't demand greatness. The crime stories that I wrote in connection with Fassbinder's work is at full play here. The savagery of modern consumerism, the complete disregard for any human or moral value is shown in all its naked brutality. The mindless competition and its fallout in exploiting young people and public alike is depicted in its shameless hypocrisy, exemplified very well by the official photographer who has no regard for employers of any kind nor for the models used.