Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jmovie review: Beck

I have not watched the anime nor seen the manga.I've heard my friends mention it and all I knew before watching is that it is a band movie. Beck starts off like your typical Japanese story with generic high schooler Koyuki who is a loner and bullied in school by a band. He runs in to Ryusuke, a guitarist who had returned from living in the US played by Mizushima Hiro. He and very kawaii sister Maho (Kutsuna Shiori) are not that proficient in Japanese and regularly use English in their conversations.

Hiro's English pronunciation is pretty good and Shiori was born in Australia so its a breath of fresh air to not have Japanese actors butcher the English language. Its is quiet refreshing to see them mix Japanese with English just as Malaysians speak our own brand of English mixed in with a lot of other languages though it comes off as very pretentious because they say full English sentences instead of mixing and matching Japanese and English more. There are of course some horrible English dialogue that made me cringe and questioned why the two actors who supposedly are fluent in English didn't correct it. Still, a marked improvement over your usual English in Jmoves/dorama where the gaijin does all the talking and the Japanese actor just says yes/no/thank you.

Beck has a gimmick which separates it from all the other band movies out there. The main character, Koyuki supposedly has this incredible voice that makes listeners see visions. The thing is, we never hear his voice. You get to hear the band or some violin music, people listening in amazement and psychedelic images and you have to accept that it was an awesome performance by Koyuki. I thought the final song I'd get to hear him sing but no. They didn't even bother to have the melody to the singing part.

Why didn't I go to high school in Japan????????????

IMHO, this is a very, very horrible gimmick. All they needed was a decent singer and the crowds reaction to SELL the fact that his singing is good. Its like wrestling. Even if a match isn't 5 star but if the crowd is so into it, the audience will buy into the match and the characters. Its as if the producers were worried that they couldn't get a good enough voice so they would just sell it by reactions. You can't fucking sell a wrestling match if the two wrestlers aren't wrestling can you?

The rest of the movie is filled with your typical high school/band stories involving bullying, friendship, working part time for money and your boring evil producer of rival band storyline. Personally all this stuff is just filler especially with the running time of 2 1/2 hours. Someone forgot that band movies are all about the music. You can pad it with all the character development stories you want but if you don't space it with great music, its doomed.

I may not have liked Solanin as much but my god, Miyazaki Aoi's performance of Solanin at the end of the movie was awesome and made it memorable. The vocal performance was even better than the AKFG's and wished they had released a Miyazaki Aoi version. Furthermore it was the story of the movie and the audience's reaction to her singing that sold the performance. The importance of good music cannot be overstated. Look at the second season of K-on. The music just wasn't as good and killed my enthusiasm for the anime. Whoever the smart guy is who decided to not have the audience hear Koyuki sing should be forced to apologies to viewers and Beck fans.

1 comment:

xaxa said...

yep, the movie was horrible. not only the music, but acting as well. Mizushima Hiro and Sato Takeru are one of the worst young actors.