In August 1997 Lady Di died in a fatal car accident while being harassed by paparazzi. Many conspiracy theories were created afterwards, but in general the shutterbugs plus the driver’s taste for alcohol were considered the main causes for the sad episode. In Japanese movie SCOOP! we also have a car chase inside a tunnel, but in this case the paparazzi are the ones being persecuted by the bodyguards of a politician; Shizuka, the protagonist, had just taken a picture of the young, married and faultless public person with his lover in a first-class hotel.
The film is a sequence of different episodes of celebrity hunting and shootings of their excesses with sex, alcohol and violence with the common thread of a couple of paparazzi: a middle-age guy with the most vulgar and politically-incorrect mouth, plus an innocent female journalist, a newcomer to the business who gradually feels the adrenaline of the job and becomes an intrepid scoop hunter.
They can be compared to a couple of soldiers, the veteran and the new private, in a war against society’s hypocrisy, sometimes at the expense of their own physical security, as when Nobi is almost raped by a celebrity’s gang. And from the 先輩―後輩 sempai-kouhai work relationship, strong emotional bonds emerge between both of them, culminating into an inevitable bed scene.
However, above all, this is a story of comradeship among all the members of the sensationalist magazine, especially the senior ones, devoting their private lives to a work they believe in, and supporting each other, even though they can be rivals inside the tabloid. The two sections in the magazine compete for its reading audience: on the one hand, news and photographs of scandals, mainly 不倫事件 (infidelity cases); on the other side, グラビア (gravure), with photos of young models in sexy poses wearing bikini or underwear, which seems to be what is more demanded by the audience nowadays. Here we have an implicit allusion to the consumers of these weeklies and the evolution of their interests.
The turning point of the story with the presence of chameleon-like actor リリー・フランキー Lilly Franky as a deranged drug addict gives a closure to the movie and connects the profession of paparazzi with war press photographers like Robert Capa.