Tuesday, December 03, 2013

JFF 2013: Orpheus' Lyre / Sakura Futatabi no Kanako

At the beginning of Orpheus' Lyre, we see Hirosue Ryoko and Inagaki Goro at their funeral of their daughter. Then we get a 10 minute flashback of this once happy family as we wait to see how their daughter, Kanako meets her demise. Hirosue Ryoko's character has a hard time dealing with the loss and tries to hang herself and the first ever first person suicide attempt I've ever seen on film.

The mother survives and begins to go off the reservation by imagining that Kanako is there. Inagaki Goro tries to get her to see reason, but Hirosue Ryoko is in full denial mode including not going to her daughter's grave. One night, she runs into Fukuda Mayuko who plays a pregnant teenager who is hiding the identity of the father. Hirosue Ryoko befriends this teenager but it seems she has ulterior motives.

First off, happy to finally get a good movie at the Japanese Film Festival. Not must watch but very solid throughout. The acting from Hirosue Ryoko and Fukuda Mayuko is of course excellent. I like that Hirosue Ryoko doesn't play her character as crazy but rather as someone who believes in certain things. Inagaki Goro doesn't do anything bad but he's just there for budget reasons. The camera work is beautiful, inventive and fun. I like how the chapters/time jumps are bookmarked and there are a lot of slow panning camera shots that keep it from looking like a dorama special.

Towards the end, I was thinking it would be better if they had left things for uncertain but the final payoff at the end sealed the deal for me. Solid movie missing something from being a must watch but no complaints from me at all.

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