Friday, April 13, 2012

Youkame no Semi/ Rebirth [review]

Announcement: First off, to all my readers/random visitors xD, I'm sorry for the lack of update in the last few months, been too busy with my work, among other stuffs. Hence, the short hiatus. Well, I can't be sure that I'm going to continue with the pace I did back then (several posts per week), but I'll try to post some dramas/movies I think worth recommending or just sharing my thoughts on. And here, I present to you one such movie.

Youkame no Semi is about the journey of a young woman, Erina/Kaoru (Inoue Mao) who when she was still a baby, kidnapped by her father's illcit lover. The lover who couldn't give birth or win the father's heart, added with the fallout of their secret relationship, is played by Nagasaku Hiromi. Kiwako (Nagasaku) decided one day to abduct the baby Erina one rainy day while the parents were out and they began a four years journey hopping from one place to another. Erina was given the name Kaoru by Kiwako who initially wanted to name her daughter that.


As I'm trying not to spoil it too much (you can try to ignore the pictures below if you want to xDD), I'll make this short. The movie is divided into half. There's no clear line as the director decides to move back and forth throughout the movie, but still making it relatable to the present. It opens with two dialogues, one from the birth mother and another, Kiwako. Then, we were brought to the court scene where Kiwako was sentenced. Next, we see Erina as a young woman, working and living alone. We began to wonder why she is living alone and not with her parents? And that was soon answered. There's an apparent drift between her and the parents. Her estranged and distant father met up with her and tried to give her some money for support, but declined by her as she asked how is mother.

Although back with her real parents, there's no guarantee that it's happily ever after for them. The trauma brought conflicts to their lives and because Erina was confused between the two women, it's no surprise the condition arises.


Erina is then approached by a freelance reporter who tempted her to find out more about her past life with Kiwako, during the years when she was abducted, but believed that the woman was her mother. The flashbacks were beautifully depicted, I do believe that Erina or Kaoru felt more happiness then than the present. It's ironic when you think about it, but sometimes, things just turn out that way.


To know the rest of the story, watch it! I still can't find the English subtitle for this movie, but I'd strongly recommend everyone to give this a chance. If not for the plot, then go for the amazing performances given by both Inoue Mao as the emotionally conflicted woman and Nagasaku Hiromi as the loving and caring mother but at times, seen as slightly delusional for her crime. From what I've read, this movie won about 10-11 awards in the 35th Japan Academy Prize, well deserved I'd say. And congratz to both Mao and Hiromi for grabbing the Best Actress/Supporting Actress. Although Inoue Mao is the lead, I sometimes feel that Hiromi gave a much more outstanding performance and kinda outshine Mao. But that's not to say Mao isn't great, I think this is the first time I've seen her in a dramatic role. She did a good job, nonetheless. 

The only thing that disappoints me upon finishing the whole 2 and half hours movie (pretty long but worth watching) is the fact that Hiromi and Mao don't even have one scene together in the movie. I was hoping for Erina to probably meet Kiwako (you know how they do in Mother drama), but they didn't, shattered my heart a little there. And please get ready a box of tissue nearby. You'll need it!


Rating: 9.5/10


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