Sway ゆれる (2006)

Sway   Yureru Sway Film Poster

ゆれるYureru

Release Date: April 08th, 2006

Running Time: 119 mins.

Director: Miwa Nishikawa

Writer: Miwa Nishikawa (Screenplay),

Starring: Joe Odagiri, Teruyuki Kagawa, Yoko Maki, Keizo Kanie, Tomorowo Taguchi, Hirofumi Arai, Masato Ibu, Pierre Taki, Mayu Kitaki,

Website    IMDB

Sway is an innocuous title but it harbours many powerful meanings. It refers to memories, one of the most profound elements that make a person unique. It refers to the ever changing personalities of people. It also refers to the sibling relationship at the centre of the film. These elements are something which writer and director Miwa Nishikawa crafts a film about in a story where the return of a younger brother to his hometown results in his older brother going on trial for murder. What is ostensibly a mystery/crime thriller becomes a dissection of modern male pride and the strain that society puts on people as revealed in a riveting character drama.

Continue reading “Sway ゆれる (2006)”

Fine, Totally Fine 全然大丈夫 (2008)

Fine, Totally Fine Review Banner

Fine, Totally Fine                                       Zenzen Daijobu Poster

Romaji: Zenzen Daijobu

Japanese: 全然大丈夫

Release Date: 26th February 2008 (Japan),

Running Time: 110 mins.

Director: Yosuke Fujita

Writer: Yosuke Fujita

Starring: YosiYosi Arakawa, Yoshino Kimura, Yoshinori Okada, Noriko Eguchi, Naoki Tanaka, Keizo Kanie, Shima Ise, Kitaro

For a title Fine, Totally Fine sounds like damning with faint praise but don’t be fooled because the film is a relaxing and charming tale of people forced to grow that will have you recognising much of yourself in the characters and feeling refreshed.

Teruo (Arakawa) lives at home with his heart-sick used bookstore owner father named Eitaro (Kanie). Teruo is nearing his 30th birthday and when not working as a part time gardener he spends his days aimlessly dreams of building a haunted house which he hopes will be able to “scare people to death” and secure him riches. His childhood friend Hisanobu (Okada) may have a respectable job as a hospital administrator but he still helps Teruo in his childish schemes, however his enthusiasm is waning since he feels his life is stuck in a rut. He is not the only one as Eitaro ups and leaves Tokyo so he can roam the country which leaves Teruo and his sister stunned. Enter clumsy artist Akari (Kimura). She has a love for fish paste sausages and painting but she also has a ‘negative aura’ which results in self-injury. When she attends a job interview at the hospital Hisanobu works at he falls in love with her and when her accident-prone nature forces her to quit Hisanobu snags her a job at Teruo’s bookstore while trying to channel Akari’s artistic talents. Unfortunately for Hisanobu, Teruo falls for Akari, regarding her as his future wife and looking for a way to woo her but life is not that simple.

Yosuke Fujita’s is a writer and theatre director and this is his movie debut. The time spent on stage and script seems to have armed him perfectly for his debut film because the insights into human nature are sharp and delivered amid moments of gentle but highly amusing humour.

Arakawa as Teruo in Fine, Totally Fine Continue reading “Fine, Totally Fine 全然大丈夫 (2008)”