Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jmovie review: Himizu

Set against the backdrop of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Himizu is a story of despair. Sumida's mom runs a boat rental business and he is neighbours with a bunch of people who were left homeless from the tsunami. His dream is to take over the business and live a regular life although his teacher gives him the everyone is special and should dare to dream speech.

Sumida is stalked by this mysterious girl Chazawa who writes all of Sumida's quotes and posts them all over her room. In this post tsunami, apocalyptic like backdrop, Sumida's mother leaves him for another man and his father comes around beating him up for money and telling Sumida that Sumida would have been better of dead.

I love the bleak nature of Himizu. Apparently it was shot at real locations and its provides a perfect metaphor for the story. Its the story of how Sumida's life is fucked because of his parents. How even his dream of living a normal life is impossible because his parents are stuffed up. Its a metaphor for the earthquake and its a metaphor for Japanese society.

You've got your usual beautiful Sion Sono scenes of poetry reading set to classical music, disturbed characters and ugly violence. However, the movie just feels all over the place. The narrative which should have stuck to mostly Sumida and Chazawa feels disjointed because the director wants to say something to Japan and I get what he is saying which is not to give up in the face of despair but I'm not feeling it.

I'm disappointed but I can't hate the movie. I have a feeling I might like Himizu more with a second viewing when I'm not concerned with the movie as a whole and enjoy all the little moments. Actually after thinking about it, I would say Himizu is more a story of hope. A story of hope in the face of absolute and certain despair. Only for Sono Sion fans.


Captain Banana said...

As a side note, Himizu was filmed before the earthquake but changes were made after to make it fit, the manga apparently has very little hope in it, maybe that's what's causing that disjointed feeling that you're getting?

The three hobo-ish characters were originally school friends of Sumida but were replaced with them after.

Watching this at the cinema made this explosive for me and I'm waiting for my Bluray to come before I watch it again.

keiko1981 said...

Thank you for the review.
I will check it out.

Akiramike said...

According to the wiki, it was filmed after the earthquake.

Can't really explain the disjointed feeling. When taking screencaps I was just thinking this and that were cool scenes, why didn't I enjoy the movie that much?

Maybe its because the movie wasn't from Sumida's perspective in the first half. I'll definitely rewatch it again.

Captain Banana said...

Sorry my mistake, I remembered incorrectly.

What I was remembering was that he made a faithful adaptation of the manga then the earthquakes happened and made big changes after.