Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jmovie review: Byakuyako

Someone asked for recommendations dark doramas and the first dorama that popped into my head was Byakuyako. I remember that dorama most not for Yamada Takayuki nor Ayase Haruka's acting but for Fukuda Mayuko's acting. Its one of those godlike first episodes that I will always remember like the first episode of Shokuzai. The Byakuyako dorama started off pretty good but got bogged down by Kinpachi sensei's character. It was basically a boring wait watching him uncover everything that the audience knew and there wasn't anything to his character.

I was working through a list of dark doramas when I remembered there was a Byakuyako movie. Why didn't I get around to watching it? Looked it up and realised it was because of Horikita Maki. By the dorama gods, I hate her because she is so overpushed. She couldn't even keep a straight face doing Teppan Shoujo Akane. What have I got to lose besides two hours of my time? Plus its got Kora Kengo who is the go to guy for dark WOWOW doramas.

Byakuyako the movie is very different from the dorama. The dorama starts from the shocking incident and is about the two characters. The movie is more mystery as the policeman slowly unravels the plot through a long period. Instead of being about the two characters, its more about the people around them. How everyone is like them, looking for happiness despite their bitter past experiences. I couldn't help thinking how I wished I could erase my memory of the dorama so I could enjoy the mystery more.

The movie finishes very strong and I would say its stronger than the dorama in terms of structure. I need to rewatch the dorama again. Can't remember much and I only reviewed up to ep 7 but the movie finishes strong. I would say the movie and dorama are both different animals and the movie is definitely darker. Less emphasis on the main characters also means Horikita Maki doesn't have to carry the movie whereas the dorama hinges upon showing the relationship between the two characters.

Acting wise, the movie is not as good as the dorama but that has a lot to do with it being more of a mystery movie than an exploration of two people with a horrible past. If you like dark stories, this is a must watch.

For a dark dorama list besides Soredemo, I would go for (in no particular order)

1. Byakuyakou
2. Shokuzai - weaker middle with strong start and finish
3. Tsumi to Batsu - Strong first half and slow second half
4. Koukou Kyoushi 1993 - not that dark though
5. Marks no Yama
6. Youkame no Semi
7. Ai nante iraneeyo
8. Enka no Joou - dark comedy. Don't think they succeed but I like the effort.


Anonymous said...

Someone suggested that I watch hate and after reading your review, I thought that 'watchable' means watchable but don't know where i can stream it?

Anyway thanks heaps for your list of recommendations! I'll need it to counter some of these modern day j fables where everyone is forgiven regardless of what they've done, and how shallow they've been.

Akiramike said...

No idea about streaming but my guess is, most of the ones available for streaming are of the modern day fables variety.