Friday, August 5, 2011

Solanin [review]

Solanin is the live-action movie based on the famous manga by author Inio Asano, basically about the lives of twenty-something graduates who are finding it hard to pass day to day life basis due their boring workplaces and such.

It's a common thing to contemplate about our lives once we graduate. I've been through it and working scares me so I opted to continue study while my other comrades begin their working lives. And I've heard from some how they were bored to death with their work or how they wanted to come back to study and such. I think it's just normal for all these complaints to be made. Human beings are never easily satisfied. And such was the case of fresh graduate Meiko (Miyazaki Aoi) who has begun working at some company and having such a jerky boss she decided to quit her job after a remark made by her live-in boyfriend Taneda (Kengo Kora) who was actually sleep-talking when he encouraged her to quit.

And due to the impulse made by Meiko, who now is jobless, counted fully on her boyfriend who also has a band with two other university mates, Katou and Billy. Well, actually Meiko was the one providing most of the household expenses really. Her boyfriend was just a part-timer and after a while, decided to focus solely on his amateur band, again, encouraged by Meiko, who said that if he likes music that much, why not be serious about it.

The bandmates. I recognized this guy, the drummer who looks totally cool in the movie IMO in other dramas haha....

There are times when we see how depressed they were with the uncertainties of their life, and at some point, they escaped reality and enjoy the moment. I think we've all been through moments like these. It's actually very true to the facts of life. And this will really be relatable especially to those who are about the same age.

There's this scene at the lake, which is just funny. xD

And soon after, a disaster happened out of the blue. I'm trying not to spoil too much here but from the screencaps I think you'd have figured out.

Anyways, I figured out the mystery behind the plaster on her face!!! LOL...

As the vocalist is gone (by now you should know what happened to the boyfriend), well ok, he got into an accident and passed. There...I just spoiled everything haha...but yeah, but things got better once that happened, somehow.

Because then we begin to see this transformation of Meiko's character from being a meek, dejected and despondent girl into a determined person who just wanted to relive some memories of her boyfriend. She took over the role as the vocalist, despite the initial reluctance of the bandmates/friends, she won them over.

And I like this particular scene where she's walking in the midst of pedestrians and she passed by her OLD SELF.

She looked back and smiled, turned away. Simple transitions but means a lot. Especially to the theme of this movie. It's exactly what the movie's about. It's saying goodbye to your old self. Your past. And begin a new life.

And the last maybe 20 minutes of the movie was the best IMO.

They finally performed for the first time in a gig.

Singing the theme song, Solanin (the track was released by Asian Kung-Fu Generation btw just fyi) and they turned down the notes a little in the movie. I think because she can't really hit the high notes like AKFG did in the real track haha but still, she's pretty good. She nailed it though, being an amateur singer.

I think it felt really good to have something you set to do in your heart. It's like having a purpose to fulfill rather than just living for the sake of living. Whatever it may be, as long as we have a purpose.

The only problem I had with the movie was very common in all Japanese movies. They tend to drag. This movie's 2 hours and frankly, it could've been done in 1 1/2 hours really. There are some unnecessary scenes and if I were the director, I'd have cut them off. But it's alright, overall. I don't know how much they stayed true to the original manga though.

Rating: 7/10


  1. One of four best japanese films based on manga and/or music theme. The other are Nana, Bandage and Beck.

  2. Yeah, I enjoyed Nana a lot too and Bandage. Have yet to watch Beck though xD Love live-action anime/manga movies^^


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