By Rachel Ogbaretin
Let’s review a movie
Just when I thought i could be free for 2 weeks and go into my long awaited hibernation period , Marc pulls a fast one on us and now we have to do homework over the break, i mean it’s not hard but I really don’t like taking work home. For this scab Marc asked us to do something we don’t normally do, such as go outside, so I decide to stay in my cave and watch something, like the anti social hobgoblin I am. I decided to watch a film since I always like finding new films to gush over. I watch a lot of films so I had to really go out there with my choices, so I went for a indie Japanese film that I read about in a film festival press ad a few years ago.
There will be minor spoilers (nothing that the trailers don’t show)
The film is called Memories of Matsuko (2006) which was directed by Tetsuya Nakashima. The films follows the life of a recently deceased Japanese school teacher called Matsuko Kawajiri who’s life is turn upside down after covering for one of her students after they committed a crime. The films starts with matsuko’s cousin going through stuff of his recently deceased aunt and through his perspective we the outsiders get to see into the bright colorful but ultimately tragic life of Matsuko Kawajiri. I liked this film although some of themes in the film such as sex-work, murder and abusive relationship where given a lighter tone than they should have, it still had me laughing and crying, especially knowing the tragic fate of the character in the very beginning. Matsuko Kawajiri is a funny person who kindness kinda fucks her over in life, she has as a profound effect on the people around her, that both parties don’t realize till much later.
The world she lives in is bright and colorful, with each scene popping with some shade of red to show the passion she gives to each relationship but later on you start to see the real effect that color has on story line of the movie, with the use of lighting almost gives a dream like effect to a lot of the scenes which really highlights how matsuko distorts her own reality in order to cope with her situations. The camera work and acting is great, the acting can be cheesy and over the top but doesn’t distract from the more somber and serious scenes I especially like the main character child counterpart who was a joy to watch at times. I gotta mention the music in this, the movie can be seen as musical at times with it’s flashy numbers but the songs a catchy and I do find myself singing from time to time with the song “love is bubble” being my fav.
I can’t really go on more about it without spoilers but I would recommend trying this, if you’re looking for something out of the norm even for a Japanese film. It kind of shallow at times with it trying to show a deeper meaning but for a fun, colorful musical melodrama it hit the spot.