Sunday, November 04, 2012

Further thoughts on The Wings of the Kirin and trying to hard to touch the audience.

First of all, the end of the world is nigh cause d-addicts is down. Usually happens once a year and we should offer sacrifices to the jdorama gods so that it comes back again. I've had this post cooking in my head for the past week after watching The Wings of the Kirin. I've got a few things I want to say and hopefully I can type it out coherently.

Movies, doramas etc are about provoking a response from the audience. Whether its to make the audience laugh, feel for a character or the usual melodrama to try and bring out some tears. Take for example, crying porn series Beautiful Rain. There is no fucking interesting story to tell or character to examine. The sole purpose of its existence is to have a cute young girl crying every five minutes so that people who get off on crying along without rhyme or reason can join in.

Izydata said that Kekkon Shinai was like a documentary which was the marketing for Renai Dekinai as well. Problem is it becomes a dorama with no interesting characters cause there's no character study and the story just becomes a soap opera. What does it have to do with my earlier point or provoking a reponse?

I think the selling point of Renai Dekinai and Kekkon Shinai is for the female audience to go, "oh, I've had that experience before and therefore this is a good dorama." Provoking empathy by ticking a box of problems facing 20+/30+ year old women. No need for strong story or characters. That's why all those older women doramas always feel like a watching a bunch of characters going through a checklist.

Anyway, back to The Wings of the Kirin which belongs in the melodrama category. Its basically melodrama disguised as a mystery and Shinzanmono was a overly safe, feel good dorama disguised as a mystery. The aim was to create this melodrama where a father finds out that his son was involved in a swimming pool incident that left his son's teammate paralysed. Father gets stabbed by son's ex teammate, doesn't call for help and drags himself for 7 or 8 minutes to the Kirin to send a message to his son.

Now, if I were a writer and the producer were telling me the concept of this movie, I would be asking why would someone we got stabbed not call for help and drag himself to point at a Kirin statue? I know its based on a Higashino Keigo novel but bear with me. The hard sell by Kaga is that the dad knew he was dying from the stab and wanted to send a message to his son.

I could have sort of bought the not calling for medical attention because he didn't want the person who stabbed him to be caught... what that doesn't make sense. Maybe he knows that the insurance money will provide a comfortable life for his family. Maybe his mind was blurred as mentioned by Kodoku no Gurume and that was the only thing the dad could think of. Regardless, there's no way to know and Abe's preaching to melodramatic music towards the end was excessive.

If the movie ended there, it would still be ok. Then Kaga dumped a whole bunch of paper birds found in the father's car and then I realised that the first half an hour of the movie was a waste of time. The whole running around and stupid cameos were unnecessary if Kaga had known about the paper birds. One would think the police would have searched the murder victim's car in the first place.

The existence of the dad's paper birds in this movie is basically to be the climax to the melodramatic scene of Kaga's preaching. Trying to hard to provoke something certain emotions from the audience to the point of sacrificing logic. So different from Suspect X, which is an awesome movie based on a Higashino Keigo novel.

I think, The Wings of the Kirin should have been about the dad just like Suspect X was about the professor. Like how Shibasaki Kou was a waste of time in Suspect X, Aragaki Yui's role should have been minimal and there should have been more flashbacks about the dad, especially his mental state and how much desperate he was to connect with his son and get him to confess. I'm talking throughout the movie, not just towards the end with a couple of lines. I feel like the family who didn't know the father and towards the end when they summed him up in a few lines I did not care because I've not gotten to know him throughout the movie.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree about your point with dekinai n kekkon shinai. I think its commendable that you even checked those out and still be able to remain rather merciful when describing the essence of these dramas. I think they are plain dumb. I am not asking for a documentary, but theres just hardly any honesty in them. Such dramas are created for the very existence of targeting women n gettn them to say 'yeah ive been through that' rather than honest stuff that you get more of in tvb. Nameless Angel is a pretty REAL jdrama n i think we need more of those. Yes its dark, but its brewing with honesty. Itd be better if the protagonists husband had a bigger secret/problem than what they've come up with, but other than that, as a drama about women facing the challenges of accepting and juggling their roles in society, i think it has been executed well. Especially how they also capture the different EMOTIONS some of the women are feeling.

Havent watched Kirin so cant comment on that.

forweg said...

I'm really freaking worried about d-addicts being down, seeing how mysoju went down around the same time. Bad sign. My life is over. :(