Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yottsu no Uso eps 1-5

This is one of the shows I had on my 'to watch' list for a long time. I was waiting to see if more episodes were going to get subbed. Its not one of those very watched jdoramas and all the actresses are around 40. So after the sub for ep 5 came out, I figured that would be enough episodes to tell if the Yottsu no Uso was worth watching.

10 years since Aoi Tori and Nagasaku Hiromi still looks as good.

Since this show has older actresses, you can probably guess what predictable elements are in this show. Happily married woman who has affair played by Hada Michiko. Bored houswife played by Terajima Shinobu and career minded doctor played by Takashima Reiko. Hada Michiko unfortunately dies in the first 5 minutes of the first episode and she acts as the narrator. There's sort of a mystery around the circumstances of her death but it was pretty much ditched towards the end.

Hello nurse!

Terajima Shinobu's part as the housewife who is infatuated with the tutor is so freaking boring. Its suppose to be the funny part of the show but she's not even half as funny as Hasegawa Kyoko in Scandal. She's this utterly idiotic housewife acting like a schoolgirl with scenes completely lacking in humour. As for Takashima Reiko, she always acts the same in all her shows. She's ok as a supporting character in shows like KDO or Saitou-san but when she's one of three main characters asked to carry a show, its a big ask. Not to mention her story degenerates into a working woman fantasy porn. I'm referring to it as porn due to lack of chemistry and build up. Doesn't sound exciting does it? It seems so by the numbers.

This is the first show I can't think of where the mom is way hotter than the daughter.

Well, the main reason I wanted to watch this show was Nagasaku Hiromi. I've only seen her in Aoi Tori which came out 10 years ago and in the 1st episode of Last Present, a potentially good dorama which was only subbed for 1 episode. I've always wanted to see whether she could act. Any decent actress can play a supporting role as the childhood friend. Whether she can carry a dorama is the big question.

Brilliant shot of Nagasaku Hiromi as she sees something shocking at the end of ep 5.

And Nagasaku Hiromi doesn't disappoint. She plays Hara Shifumi, a woman is perceived as vile and cunning because she is good at using men. She works at a run down bookshop and struggles to make ends meet while taking care of her half senile father. She has a daughter from a broken marriage who mirrors her in character but unfortunately not in looks. Nagasaku Hiromi's portrayal of Shifumi is a joy to watch. She lives in the moment always searching for that little bit of happiness. She is poor and tries to get as much money from her former mother in law as possible. She realises the hopelessness of her situation with her father and daughter but cannot bear to part with them.

Suffice to say, two-thirds of the show is crap with Shifumi being the most developed and interesting character of the bunch. I just wish they'd cut out the other characters or shove them to the background. Shifumi is nowhere as bad as she thinks she is and its interesting watching her struggle with coming to terms with her feelings and reality. Shifumi's story would even make a great movie. Yottsu no Uso is supposed to be a study of 3 women at the peak of their lives and the choices they made in the past but only one turns out to be interesting.

I would not recommend Yottsu no Uso to anyway unless you have a thing for Nagasaku Hiromi like me. As you can see from the pictures, the camera loves her. They look like shots from a movie with a great cinematographer. Its like the cameraman puts extra effort into scenes. She's got those actress eyes that tell you all you need to know about her character. Episode 6 could get better when the stories and characters start to intertwine more. The show's title translate to 4 Lies so there should be some interesting revelations about the characters' past.

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