There’s always an implicit message behind every Japanese film that I know. Kaiji, a film adaptation from a serial manga, is definitely one of them. In terms of thrills and story, it’s probably of mixed reviews. But Kaiji excels in how to inspire people for not giving up, emphasizing specific Japanese mentalities for the past few decades – a tendency for giving up and then committing suicide.
The story background itself is pretty much what describes Japan these days. It’s all about the recession, the slow economy, on how people try to salvage the remains of their lives, on debts, on gambling, and on how to survive as the answer of life is not through suicides but through confidence and willpower.