Friday, September 23, 2011

Sand Chronicles [Sunadokei]

Sand Chronicles or Sunadokei is based on a manga and now adapted into movie. The casts are as such:
Kaho (young), Nao Mitsushita (adult) as Ann Minase
Sosuke Ikematsu (young), Shunya Isaka (adult) as Daigo

It’s the kind of story similar to Hanamizuki, which spans over a time span of about 10 years. While Hanamizuki tells of the protagonists over 30 years, this is somewhat a shorter version. I have to keep reminding myself this is different from Hanamizuki while watching. The plot definitely differs from Hanamizuki (which I really like by the way) but as usual, we have two younger stars and adult actors for the later part. Don’t be misled by the poster though when you see the adults ones, Nao Mitsushita and Shunya being placed in the middle, making as if they’re gonna be a huge part of the movie, because the young ones actually have much much more screentime and you’ll see them throughout the show. There’ll be flashbacks in between in the second half of the movie in between the adult life and the past.


Moving onto the plot, we have Ann who moved to her mother’s hometown from Tokyo when their father left them with a huge debt. Ann’s mother was having trouble coping with that burden and committed suicide not long after. This left some sort of a scar on Ann’s life which caused her to do things (which I will not spoil) in her relationship. Ann befriended several locals, including Daigo, who found her work and they became closer after her mother’s death. She found comfort in Daigo, who promised to never leave her. However, in between all that, her father suddenly came back for her and she had to move back to Tokyo with him, causing her to engage in a long distance relationship with Daigo. In Tokyo, Fuji (another friend back in the hometown) also came to the big city to study and met up with her. After the sudden kiss he gave Ann, Ann couldn’t help but wonder about it when she went back to the hometown. When Fuji confessed that he’d liked her ever since they first met, Daigo who overheard their conversation, gave him a punch. This incident caused a rift between Ann and Daigo.


Well, enough spoilers there. The pace is rather slow, so it takes a bit of patience (as do most Japanese movies) to watch and get through the whole 2 hours. However, the acting is not bad though. Especially the younger casts. I think they did pretty good in their roles. My favourite character is Daigo. He is the type that’ll make you go “Aww….he’s such a goooood guy!” I literally find myself thinking that he’s a sweet guy throughout the entire movie and it’s just rare. He’s not the goody-goody type till the point where you’ll begin to doubt his nature, instead, he’s rather believable. The main character, Ann is definitely flawed. But it’s not entirely hers to blame. Though it wasn’t shown in the early stages, it appeared later that her mother’s suicide actually had far more impact on her. However, I find myself feeling pity for Daigo more than her xD


It’s such a shame though that both Nao and Shunya (adult versions) have such minimal screen time in the movie. Personally, I’d have wanted more of them but again, we have to be reminded that the story builds up from the past and the present is just a small fraction of the movie plot. Basically, it’s a love story over the time span of about 10 plus years. Both Kaho and Nao are definitely pretty in there. Not to mention, Shunya and Sosuke are both looking handsome too lolz…

It’s an average movie, for me…a bit draggy and definitely not as great as Hanamizuki (as far as the plot goes), but the acting overall is still good, especially the younger actors. Credit should be given to them. Overall rating: 7/10 – watch only if you like movies with similar styles as Hanamizuki or fans of either one of the casts.


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