Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Going My Home ep 1

The very anticipated Going My Home by Koreeda Hirokazu, director of After Life, Nobody Knows, Still Walking, Air Doll and last year's Kiseki (I Wish). Out of his filmography, Nobody Knows is the best IMO, with After Life and Still Walking being pretty good, Air Doll being an interesting movie and Kiseki being a miss for me. If I were to describe his style, especially from his last three movies, I would say Koreeda's movies are like a constant flowing of a quiet stream and his aim is to arouse a certain kind of feeling in the audience.

The first thing that its obvious about the first episode of Going My Home is that it is very long. Clocking at 1 hour 40 minutes, it is basically a movie. Abe Hiroshi does his usual great acting, this time playing a father who is a useless boss in an advertising company who shirks his responsibilities. Yamaguchi Tomoko is the wife who is does food photography. The best part of ep 1 is Abe relationship with his family, especially his mother and sister played by YOU.

Kareeda's strength is playing all those regular conversations that you find in any family and somehow making it interesting. Though I find the pacing really slow with the story taking its time to get to Miyazaki Aoi's, I was glued to every word. Its not Nojima Shinji rapid fire verbal jousting but he conversations are more subdued and there are plenty of punchlines. Any dorama that can keep me from forwarding to the next scene is doing something right.

When we finally get to the revelation about Miyazaki Aoi's character I was disappointed not just because her being the half sister would be hilarious with more scenes of Abe's mom and sister using him as the middle man but also that the dorama seems to be heading into the 'cuna' territory. Seems like this is going to go into a mythical creature hunt dorama to invoke certain feelings or ideas, ala Kiseki as can be seen from the promo picture below.

I am skeptical whether that can make a compelling 10 episode story. I would like to see Koreeda succeed but doramas are about creating anticipation and payoffs. Great directing, great acting but first episode is too long and did not get me excited for the second. Can't give it a must watch but let's see what episode 2 brings.Very watchable if a bit long.

Can't wait for Double Face to be uploaded. I recognise plenty of shots straight from Infernal Affairs from the CM. Thought it was going to be a series but looks like its going to be two dorama specials.


lzyData said...

Very very slow drama. In pacing Koreeda is like one of those old-time scriptwriters Yamada Taichi (Arifureta Kiseki) or Kuramoto Sou.

The conversation within both families feels very real. Can there be two actresses who look as real as mother and daughter as those two?

Ep2 will be shown the week after next because of some football game, so I think that's the reason they made a 100-minute first episode.

Antspace said...

Long,slow, but very funny at times. the cast is great and the director knows how to use it : )
I agree Nobody Knows is the best thing (I've seen) from Koreeda, but also really enjoyed Air Doll. I'm a bit afraid for this dorama to turn to the very tragic and sad though. It seems to be typical for Japanese dorama's to start of relative lightheartedly and then suddenly turn wry. I love that, but also love happy endings : )

xaxa said...

Enjoyed every second of it. Didn't even notice how 1:40 hours flew by. Yeah, it is slow paced, but I think it is the main advantage of this drama. Got very pleasant Kekkon Dekinai Otoko or even Kita no Kuni kara vibes.

Ersby said...

I loved episode one. Almost every scene had something interesting, from the bored advertising executive to the teacher/parent meeting where the teacher really just wants an autograph from the famous parent. I am doubtful if this can keep up over the course of a whole season, but I can always hope.

And I agree with IzyData, that mother/daughter casting was a stroke of genius.

Sonnaaaaa~ said...

I think the casting is excellent too -- I loved YOU in this (last thing I saw her in was the Manhattan drama) but for some reason I found it a little hard to sit through the hour and 40 minutes, so I did a little fast forwarding.

I hope the second episode is good.

bframe5 said...

2 hours including CMs... ><

Shane said...

This show is my cup of coffee. Brilliant.

Jung said...

There are many humorous scenes... like around 24:00 when the male secretary was taking poll of people staying overnight to look after the patient. I cracked up good when Abe said "5".

And it's hilarious how the Mom was nearly enjoying speculating when her husband might've cheated on her and had a child outside with another woman.

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

It was quite good. I kept forgetting I was watching a drama and not a movie.

I think the funniest scene was when Abe's mother was telling him how his name was chosen.

Shane said...

The bit that made me laugh the most was when he was asking why they call him Ma-kun, whether it stands for Mayonnaise lol. The look on the guys face cracks me up! "Ma...Ma...Ma?"